Employment Lawyer

What Happens After a Contract is Breached?


What Happens After a Contract is Breached?
What Happens After a Contract is Breached?

What happens after a breach of contract? Well, what happens before and during are just as important questions to ask. Breach of contract claims in employment law can be tricky but with the guidance of an Employment Attorney, they can be little less complex. An Employment Attorney who represents employees against their employer is the type of attorney who may be able to decipher whether there was an implied or expressed promise made by an employer to their employee and whether or not that promise was fulfilled. Below are some points to keep in mind about breach of contract in employment situations.


The rundown
In California, employees are automatically considered as at will. At will employment basically means that an employee can be terminated for any reason or for no reason at all. The "at will" literally means the employer can decide to fire an employee at their own will without cause, even if they just feel like getting rid of an employee. For example, a boss could call an employee into his or her office today and say "Bob, I've decided the sound of your voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard, no one likes you at the office either. You're fired". Technically he or she could do that to poor Bob because he's an at-will employee and the employer can just decide to fire employees when he or she pleases. This means you cannot sue your boss for a breach of contract claim if you are fired.

There is an exception to the at-will employee rule, which is that an employer cannot terminate an employee if it is based on an illegal reason. An illegal reason would be if an employer terminated an employee based on the employee belonging to a protected class or possessing a protected characteristic. The law considers certain classes and characteristics protected such as marital status, race, age, religion, creed, sexual orientation, ethnicity, veteran status, military status, pregnancy, medical condition, or disability. If an employer's reason for firing an employee is based on the employee belonging to a protected class or the employee having a protected characteristic, then that may be considered as prohibited by the law. In looking at the previous example of poor Bob, let's say Bob was born and raised in Mexico. Prior to Bob's boss firing him because his voice was annoying and he wasn't the most likable guy in the office, his boss had made derogatory remarks about "Mexicans". On a few occasions Bob's boss had made jokes about how " all Mexicans were lazy". Bob's manager who hired him was the only other Mexican and was fired a week before Bob. In this example, there may be evidence that demonstrates that Bob was fired for an illegal reason. Although Bob's boss said it was because he was simply not liked at the office, the fact that his boss had made remarks that singled Bob out based on being of Mexican descent on top of the fact that the only other Mexican employee at the office was also fired indicates that Bob was fired based on his ethnicity. Here, Bob may be able to prove that he was fired for an illegal reason because it was based on his ethnicity which is a protected class according to employment laws in California. But again, this would not be considered a breach of contract claim.



The other exception

As mentioned previously, employees in California are automatically considered as at-will employees because California is an at will state. An employee who is at-will can be fired at the will of their employer without cause, but there is another exception to this rule. An employee may not even be considered at will in certain circumstances which means he or she cannot be terminated without cause. The circumstances that would render an employee to be considered as not an at-will would be if the employee can prove that he she had a contract with the employer that said otherwise. The contract can expressly or impliedly indicate that the contract would have a fixed time of employment and/or the employee could only be terminated if there is a cause.

If an employee cannot provide proof that there was an expressed or implied contract that provided that he or she was on a fixed term of employment and or he or she could not be terminated without cause, then the employee is considered at-will and therefore can be terminated for any reason or for no reason. Where an employee can provide proof that he or she was terminated while there was indeed an expressed or implied contract in place that had a fixed term of employment and/or that the employee could not be terminated without cause, the employee may have a claim in breach of contract and possibly wrongful termination. An Employment Attorney may be able to assist an employee or former employee should they have any questions regarding expressed or implied contracts. Also, an Employment Attorney may also be able to provide legal advice on any questions concerning whether a former employee has a breach of contract case and/or a wrongful termination case.

Breach of contract claims for at-will employees

An employee may be able to bring a claim against their employer for breach of contract even though the employee is an at-will employee. If an employee is promised by their employer that he or she will receive some kind of a benefit such as a pay increase after a stated term of employment and the employee is terminated before all the terms of the agreement are carried out, then the employee may recover. Usually, the employer could terminate the employee without cause, but where there is a promised benefit at the end of a fixed term and then the employee is fired for no reason before all the terms of the promise are carried out, the employee may be able to recover some of that money. In this kind of situation, a former employee may have a breach of contract claim against their former employer, in which case he or she should call an Employment Attorney for representation.


Dealing with a possible breach of contract claim can be overwhelming but with the assistance of the right Employment Attorney, it is possible to recover.
+ نوشته شده در  پنجشنبه 27 ارديبهشت 1397ساعت 2:59  توسط Afshin Tehrani  | 

 
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