Can the employer make me sign an agreement to return 3 months pay if I do not give 3 months' notice

My employer has circulated a new employee manual which mentions that it is only a guideline.

At the end of it, there is an agreement which is one-sided and says that I owe the employer my 3 months salary if I do not give them 3 months notice if I resign.

Can they force me to sign it? If I sign it just to keep my job, can they enforce it in California? They are not offering any 'consideration' like promotion or raise to make the employees sign this agreement.

Thanks and best regards

2 answers  |  asked Oct 7, 2010 12:08 AM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (2)

Elisa Ungerman
If you are an "at will" employee, and presumably the handbook will describe you as such, then such an agreement is unenforceable in CA because under the CA labor code, an employer is not entitled to claim or take back wages already paid out unless you specifically agree in writing. You should seek help from a competent employment attorney before signing. One option may be to sign but expressly disavowing that portion of the handbook.

posted by Elisa Ungerman  |  Oct 8, 2010 11:32 AM [EST]
George Allen
As you describe the agreement, it is not enforceable under California law. It should also be the case that your employer cannot lawfully terminate you for refusing to sign it. If you are considering not signing, please have an employment law attorney review the agreement and advise you before you choose a course of action.

posted by George Allen  |  Oct 7, 2010 09:35 AM [EST]

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