Legal Question in Employment Law in California

Employee's property rights vs. employers discipline

When an employer solicits an employee during non-working hours to enter into a verbal agreement for the use of the employee’s property (unrelated to the scope of employment) in exchange for a future promise, is a valid agreement established which exists entirely separate from the employment agreement?

Does the employee maintain full property rights when the verbal agreement includes the employer offering wages for the assembly and installation of the employee’s property in order for the employer to gain the benefit solicited?

Does the payment of wages (less than 20 hours) for the assembly and installation of the employee’s property entitle the employer to property rights, and then establish a basis for an employer’s assertion that the property usage converts to a term and condition of employment?

If the employee exercises dominion of the property due to the failure of the employer to abide by the verbal agreement, does the employer have a legal basis to bring disciplinary action against the employee for exercising property rights?

Is the employer ultimately allowed to deny and deprive the employee of property rights?


Asked on 3/02/05, 7:04 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Thomas Pavone Pavone & Cohen

Re: Employee's property rights vs. employers discipline

Your questions will not lead to answers upon which action may be based. I suggest that you pose your question by providing some facts as to what happened and what you would like to happen now. If the property has economic value and the employer has essentially taken possession of the property you will most likely have a claim. Whether it will be economically feasable to pursue it may be the determining factor.

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Answered on 3/07/05, 12:59 pm
Tom Walker Law Offices of Thomas C. Walker

Re: Employee's property rights vs. employers discipline

Presenting the question in legal jargon makes it much more difficult to understand and answer. You can enter into oral contract with your employer, directly involving your employment or unrelated to it. The problem with oral contracts is uncertainty & disputes as to their terms, and they don't work for some transactions - like real property. This is all I can do with what you've posted.

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Answered on 3/05/05, 11:04 am


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