These days, implied and oral contracts are generally not valid legal theories against employers. If there is any language in an employee manual, or personnel document the employee signed, stating the employee is at-will or there is not a contract of employment there will almost certainly not be an implied or oral contract.
Even if you worked for a small employer without any written policies, you will have to affirmatively show that something happened worthy of the court implying a contract. Implied contracts can exist if the employee is a very long term employee, or promises of longevity such as retirement are made. Promises creating an implied contract may also include employees who are promised large sums of money or longevity if they institute a new process, set up a new location, or do something quite large for a company. However, any written language about the employer being at-will most likely will defeat an implied contract. Moreover, in the case of commissions, any written commission agreement is likely to defeat an implied or oral contract for commissions.
Call us today at 951-367-1000 to talk to a Riverside Employment Lawyer
The absence of a contract does not preclude recovery under quantum meruit because quantum meruit does not require the existence of a contract, Maglica v. Maglica, 66 Cal.App.4th 442, 449, 78 Cal.Rptr.2d 101, 104 (1998); Huskinson v. Wolf, 32 Cal.4th 458, 9 Cal.Rptr.3d 696 (2004). Actions lie in common counts even when the services were rendered under an unenforceable contract, Parker v. Solomon, 171 Cal.App.2d 125 (1959); Iverson v. Berwald, 76 Cal.App.4th 990, 996, 90 Cal.Rptr.2d 665, 669 (1999). The recovery for quantum meruit is the reasonable value of the services rendered, Maglica at 448, 104. citing to numerous cases. "The underlying idea behind quantum meruit is the law's underlying distaste for unjust enrichment, Id. "Contract price and reasonably value of services rendered are two separate things; sometimes the reasonable value of services exceeds a contract price," Id. at 450, 105 "Resulting benefit is an open-ended standard, which, as we have mentioned earlier, can result in the plaintiff obtaining recovery amounting to de factor ownership in a business all out of reasonable relation to the value of services rendered, Id. at 450, 105.
A person who has been unjustly enriched at the expense of another is required to make restitution to the other, California Federal Bank v. Matreyek, 8 Cal.App.4th 125 (1992). The law independently imposes restitution and compensation regardless of express contract, Lucky Auto Supply v. Turner, 244 Cal.App.2d 872 (1966). Unjust enrichment is a remedy available for benefits one unjustly obtains including through fraud, Nibbi Brothers, Inc. v. Brannan Street Investors, 205 Cal.App.3d 1415 (1988).
One form of common count is a common count for work or labor done, Philpott v. Sup. Crt., 1 Cal.2d 512, 518 (1934), and that form of common count is known as quantum meruit. Another form of common count is for fraud and when a common count is based upon fraud, the fraud does not need to be alleged with specificity, J. C. Peacock v. Hasko, 196 Cal.App.2d 353, 361-362, 16 Cal.Rptr. 518 (1961). Because quantum meruit was recognized as an action at law in 1950, there is a right to jury trial, Jogani v. Sup. Crt., 165 Cal.App.4th 901, 907, 81 Cal.Rptr.3d 503 (2008).
Quantum meruit does not depend on an implied contract, and is not a legal theory rooted in quasi-contract, Maglica at 456, 109. However, quantum meruit is also appropriate when a plaintiff, working under an express contract, performs additional work, at defendant's request that is not specific in the contract, Combs v. Glide, 112 Cal.App.2d 781, 786-787 (1952).
Employment contracts today and its language on manuals can get messy. If you are in need of an employment contracts lawyer, contact us. Proudly Representing Employees In: Banning, Beaumont, Blythe, Cathedral City, Coachella, Corona, Hemet, Indio, Jurupa Valley, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Norco, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Perris, Rancho Mirage, Riverside, San Jacinoto, Temecula. Contact us today or call us now at 951-367-1000 for a Riverside employment contract lawyer