Executive Agreements

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Employees may have agreements that dictate the terms of employment, such as job titles, job duties, compensation, incentive pay, benefits, and consequences for termination without “cause.”

 Breach of Contact

  • A written or oral employment contract can override the at-will employment presumption and create a contract to terminate only for cause.
  • If an employment contract specifies that you will terminate only for cause, this creates an implied covenant requiring you to exercise “good faith and fair dealing” in the employment relationship. Guz v. Bechtel National, Inc., 24 California 4th 317 (2000); CACI Nos. 303, 305, 325.

Good Cause

Earned Contractual Wages

  • A written contact that has the criteria to earn incentive pay is enforceable as a breach of contract or as unpaid wages under the Labor Code.  Labor Code § 200(a); CACI No. 2700.

Wrongful Demotion


  • Except in limited circumstances, “every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.”  Business & Professions Code § 16600.  This makes almost all post-employment non-compete provisions unenforceable.
  • Unenforceable are provisions requiring an employee to litigate or arbitrate outside of California a claim that arose in California or depriving the employee of the substantive protection of California law for a claim that arose in California.  Labor Code § 925(a), (d).