Legal Question in Employment Law in California

I work at a corporate pet store. We recently got a new store manager who wants all the employees as his individual store to sign a contract he made. This contract does not apply to all the stores company wide. It is a contract stating that we as employees may not clock in late or clock out late. This is part of our original contract with the company of course. However, the part of this contract that makes me question the legality is that this contract sounds like a warning. If we call out sick, we will get a final warning, then termination. None of the employees in the store have been given official warnings about their individual attendance or tardiness. Is this legal for the manager to make his employees sign this contract?

Asked on 8/26/13, 2:19 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless
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Of course it is a warning. Heed it or risk termination if that is his goal.

The company makes the rules and policies. He IS the company at his store. Employers are entitled to set and change hours, duties, titles, compensation, benefits, leaves, vacations, holidays, policies, rules, etc., just not retroactively. You can either comply, look for another job and then resign, or quit now and risk being denied unemployment.

In general, unless an employee is civil service, in a union, or has a written employment contract, they are an 'at will' employee that can be disciplined or terminated any time for any reason, with or without ‘cause’, explanation or notice. Any employee's goal should be to keep their supervisors happy and make them look good to the company, and make the company money. That’s how the company pays employee wages. If you don't, then don't be surprised to be replaced.

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8/26/13, 2:31 pm

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