Article 3. Obligations Of Employee of California Labor Code >> Division 3. >> Chapter 2. >> Article 3.
One who, without consideration, undertakes to do a service
for another, is not bound to perform the same but if he actually
enters upon its performance, he shall use at least slight care and
One who, by his own special request, induces another to
intrust him with the performance of a service, shall perform the same
fully. In other cases, one who undertakes a gratuitous service may
relinquish it at any time.
A gratuitous employee, who accepts a written power of
attorney, shall act under it so long as it remains in force, or until
he gives notice to his employer that he will not do so.
One who is employed at his own request to do that which is
more for his own advantage than for that of his employer, shall use
great care and diligence therein to protect the interest of the
One who, for a good consideration, agrees to serve another,
shall perform the service, and shall use ordinary care and diligence
therein, so long as he is thus employed.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), a
contract to render personal service, other than a contract of
apprenticeship as provided in Chapter 4 (commencing with Section
3070), may not be enforced against the employee beyond seven years
from the commencement of service under it. Any contract, otherwise
valid, to perform or render service of a special, unique, unusual,
extraordinary, or intellectual character, which gives it peculiar
value and the loss of which cannot be reasonably or adequately
compensated in damages in an action at law, may nevertheless be
enforced against the person contracting to render the service, for a
term not to exceed seven years from the commencement of service under
it. If the employee voluntarily continues to serve under it beyond
that time, the contract may be referred to as affording a presumptive
measure of the compensation.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a):
(1) Any employee who is a party to a contract to render personal
service in the production of phonorecords in which sounds are first
fixed, as defined in Section 101 of Title 17 of the United States
Code, may not invoke the provisions of subdivision (a) without first
giving written notice to the employer in accordance with Section 1020
of the Code of Civil Procedure, specifying that the employee from
and after a future date certain specified in the notice will no
longer render service under the contract by reason of subdivision
(2) Any party to a contract described in paragraph (1) shall have
the right to recover damages for a breach of the contract occurring
during its term in an action commenced during or after its term, but
within the applicable period prescribed by law.
(3) If a party to a contract described in paragraph (1) is, or
could contractually be, required to render personal service in the
production of a specified quantity of the phonorecords and fails to
render all of the required service prior to the date specified in the
notice provided in paragraph (1), the party damaged by the failure
shall have the right to recover damages for each phonorecord as to
which that party has failed to render service in an action that,
notwithstanding paragraph (2), shall be commenced within 45 days
after the date specified in the notice.
An employee shall substantially comply with all the
directions of his employer concerning the service on which he is
engaged, except where such obedience is impossible or unlawful, or
would impose new and unreasonable burdens upon the employee.
An employee shall perform his service in conformity to the
usage of the place of performance, unless otherwise directed by his
employer, or unless it is impracticable or manifestly injurious to
his employer to do so.
An employee is bound to exercise a reasonable degree of
skill, unless his employer has notice, before employing him, of his
want of skill.
An employee is always bound to use such skill as he
possesses, so far as the same is required, for the service specified.
Everything which an employee acquires by virtue of his
employment, except the compensation which is due to him from his
employer, belongs to the employer, whether acquired lawfully or
unlawfully, or during or after the expiration of the term of his
An employee shall, on demand, render to his employer just
accounts of all his transactions in the course of his service, as
often as is reasonable, and shall, without demand, give prompt notice
to his employer of everything which he receives for the account of
An employee who receives anything on account of his employer,
in any capacity other than that of a mere servant, is not bound to
deliver it to the employer until demanded, and is not at liberty to
send it to the employer from a distance, without demand, in any mode
involving greater risk than its retention by the employee himself.
An employee who has any business to transact on his own
account, similar to that intrusted to him by his employer, shall
always give the preference to the business of the employer.
An employee who is expressly authorized to employ a
substitute is liable to his principal only for want of ordinary care
in his selection. The substitute is directly responsible to the
An employee who is guilty of a culpable degree of negligence
is liable to his employer for the damage thereby caused to the
employer. The employer is liable to the employee if the service is
not gratuitous, for the value of the services only as are properly
Where service is to be rendered by two or more persons
jointly, and one of them dies, the survivor shall act alone, if the
service to be rendered is such as he can rightly perform without the
aid of the deceased person, but not otherwise.