Breach of Employment Agreement
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What Is an Employment Agreement?
An employment agreement is a legal agreement between an employee and their employer regarding the terms of the agreement. It creates a legally binding contract between the worker, and is generally written and signed in order to be effective. A typical employment agreement will address issues such as:
- Names, contact information, and other identifying information of the parties involved
- The nature and purpose of the employment arrangement
- Payment of wages (amount and frequency; specific pay dates)
- Whether any benefits are available to the worker
- Information regarding advancements and promotions
- How long the arrangement will last
- Procedures for termination or retirement
Many employers use standard employment contracts, especially if they will be hiring a large number of workers performing relatively similar tasks. On the other hand, individual employment agreements can be created for situations involving unique needs.
What Is a Breach of Employment Agreement?
A breach of an employment contract can occur whenever either party fails to perform their duties under the contract terms. For instance, the employer may be liable for a breach if they fail to pay wages as stated in the contract, or if they deny the employee any benefits that they are entitled to. Another common breach of employment agreement is where the employer terminates the worker in an incorrect way.
For employees, a breach can occur if they seek to find employment elsewhere before the contract terms are up. Alternatively, they might be liable for a breach if they disclose information that is meant to be held privately for the company.
Thus, there can be many different issues involved in a breach of contract. Since each contract is different, a breach of contract might be found for many different reasons.
What to Do about a Breach of Employment Agreement?
If you believe that your employer has breached the employment agreement that you initially signed and agreed to, you must first take some precautionary steps before taking legal action:
- Check the original employment agreement to make sure that the terms and conditions that were breached were listed and that you signed and agreed to the terms.
- Take the problem to your employer and try to resolve the problem.
- Talk to a professional specialist or a lawyer to determine whether the contract has actually been breached or the terms have been violated.
- Try a form of Arbitration or Mediation to resolve the issue.
- If all fails, take legal action against the employer to be compensated for any loss that resulted from the breach.
What Are Some Remedies for a Breach of Employment Agreement?
Breaching an employment contract can lead to various legal penalties. Of course, contract remedies will depend on the type of agreement that was reached. It will also depend on the central focus of the breach. For instance, if the breach involves a failure to pay wages, the remedy may include a monetary damages award paid from the employer to the employee, which would reimburse them for the missing wages.
Another remedy might involve the employer reinstating the worker to their previous job title after a wrongful termination incident. Other remedies might involve a re-writing of the contract to reflect changes in circumstances, or a requirement that the employer change their workplace policies.
Common remedies that you may be able to claim for a breach of employment contract may be:
- Payment for any holiday or sick pay that was offered and negotiated, but was not granted by employer.
- Payment for any travel expenses or work related expenses that was owed, but not paid.
- Any changes or modification to the employment agreement that was not signed off or agreed by you.
- Any breach of job description or terms of work hours that was offered before you entered the employment contract or started working.
Do I Need to Hire an Employment Lawyer?
Employment agreements should be reviewed carefully before they are entered into. You may wish to hire an employment lawyer if you need help drafting, editing, reviewing, or negotiating an employment agreement. Your attorney can help you understand your employment rights under local, state, and federal laws. Also, your lawyer can represent you in court if you need to file a formal lawsuit due to a breach of contract terms.
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Last Modified: 09-22-2014 12:52 PM PDT
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