Breach of Employment Contract FAQs
An employment contract exists whenever a person or organization hires someone to do work and the parties enter into a written agreement governing the terms of employment. Verbal contracts can exist but are rare. The contract itself can be a verbal agreement, a brief written description of responsibilities and pay rates, or a lengthy document that the employee and employer sign.
The most important thing to understand is that every employment contract imposes legally enforceable duties and obligations. When either party violates the terms of the contract, it often makes sense to seek advice and representation from a Columbus employment contract lawyer to figure out what happened and how the breach of contract can be remedied.
Here, we answer five of the most frequently asked questions about breach of employment contracts. If you would like to learn more or think you have a case, call The Friedmann Firm at 614.610.9755 or request a confidential appointment by completing this online contact form.
As employment contract attorneys, we usually take cases for employees. Still, we welcome opportunities to assist employers with preparing contracts that protect their interests while treating workers fairly.
What types of contracts exist between employees and employers?
A basic employment contract spells out what a person is hired to do, what and how they will be paid, and sets certain terms such as location, hours, benefits, and length of employment. The employer largely controls the level of detail that goes into an employment contract unless the employee has representation from a union or other body that can engage in collective bargaining. Preferably, the employee receives, reviews, and signs an employment contract before starting a job.
Some employers also ask employees to enter into nondisclosure agreements and non compete agreements. An NDA restricts the types of information a worker can share with anyone other than the employer. An NCA prevents an employee from taking a new job with certain other employers, which are usually direct competitors of the organization that requests the NCA.
Unionized workers and senior executives may also enter into severance agreements with their employers. The terms of such agreements vary from person to person, but they typically cover separation pay, continuation of health benefits, and payouts for unused leave.
What constitutes a breach of an employment contract?
A breach occurs when either the employee or the employer fails to do what the contract specifies. Examples include the following:
- The employer pays less than agreed or does not pay at all.
- The employer fails to provide promised equipment and training.
- The employer reneges on a promised promotion.
- The employer fails to provide promised benefits.
- The employee fails to carry out job duties that he or she agreed to perform.
- The employee discloses information covered by the NDA.
Who can claim that an employment contract has been breached?
Any person or organization that enters into a contract can claim that another party is in breach. The accusation that a breach has occurred must be credible, however. Partnering with an experienced employment contract lawyer in Columbus to interpret contract terms, gather and organize evidence, and set a strategy for enforcing the contract term that has been breached will prevent an unproductive, possibly contentious, exchange of charges and simple denials.
How does someone prove that an employment contract has been breached?
Each case is different. Having a written and signed contract does make it easier to figure out whether an employee or employer breached the contract but pointing to contract language will not suffice. For a dispute over pay, for example, the employee will need canceled checks or bank statements. A detailed accounting of work hours, testimony from co-workers and managers, and memos and emails may be needed as well. Consulting with an employment contract attorney will clarify the types of evidence required and how to go about collecting it.
What legal remedies exist for breach of employment contracts?
An employer who finds that an employee is in breach of his or her employment contract can take disciplinary action such as requiring additional training or assigning stricter supervision. An employer can also terminate an employee for not fulfilling his or her contractual duties. Enforcing an NDA or NCA generally requires going to court to demand that the former employee pay financial penalties. An employee who has a breach of contract claim usually has to file a civil lawsuit to hold the employer to its obligations. Succeeding with such a lawsuit can result in the award of unpaid wages, monetary damages, and rehiring. A court may also order the employer to update its policies and procedures. Sometimes, an employee will qualify to receive punitive damages, which are noncriminal fines imposed to punish unfair treatment.
Rachel was absolutely amazing. As an attorney she really took the time to really listen to my concerns. She was honest and kept me informed every step of the way. The outcome was favorable on my behalf and I appreciate her efforts to achieve a good outcome. I would highly recommend her and the Friedmann firm to represent me if ever needed in future.
Working with Rachel Sabo from Friedmann Firm was absolutely amazing! She upholds integrity, honesty and without a doubt fights for what is right! Rachel was extremely transparent and real! Please don’t let wrong be right, Rachel will strive to advocate and put her whole heart in obtaining resolve in your situation! What an absolute blessing, she won my case in less than 1 week💪
My experience with the Friedmann Firm is an absolute 5 stars. From my very first call with Karen, to all of my communication with Rachel, everything exceeded all of my expectations. Rachel and Karen were so caring and understanding in a very sensitive situation. They responded immediately to any questions or concerns I had. I would HIGHLY recommend the Friedmann Firm. They are caring, professional, understanding, and I would trust them with any issue I have in the future.
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm were fantastic to work with. The thought of needing an employment lawyer was scary for me, it was confusing and complex. But Rachel listened, asked questions and took time to really understand me and my priorities. I felt calm, supported and excited for the first time in weeks after talking to her!! We worked together to review everything, set expectations and meet my priorities! Thanks Rachel and team for all your work!!!
Rachel Friedmann of the Friedman Firm was my attorney for a very recent legal matter. I would highly recommend Rachel based on her legal knowledge, her honest appraisal of the matter and expected outcomes, her open communication and timely responses to my questions and the matter itself, and her steadfastness in dealing with the opposing counsel until a final agreement was reached.
Rachel and her staff went over and above the call of duty to help me achieve fiscal resolution to my legal issue. She wasn’t always available to talk but was always responsive via text and email when in court out of the office and even on vacation. I feel she earned her percentage cut.
Couldn’t be happier with the representation I received from Jamie Bailey on my civil litigation case. She worked tirelessly to resolve the case and in the end negotiated a fair settlement on my behalf. I would highly recommend her to anyone! Thanks for everything Friedman law firm.
Friedman Firm was a great help in a difficult time in my life. They went above and beyond to get me back on track. Rachel was so good to work with and is extremely knowledgeable about the law and employment rights. Can't thank them enough for all there hard work. Highly recommend them to anyone.
The Friedmann Firm (specifically Pete Friedmann) represented me through what seemed like a never ending employment discrimination suit. The suit was filed just before Covid shut everything down in 2020. Add to that a former employer who refused to admit fault. In spite of all of that, Pete stood resolute in his representation of me and working for the best outcome for me. We ended up settling prior to trial and I was more than satisfied with the results. Pete was always available to answer questions and reassure me throughout this process. I highly recommend The Friedmann Firm!
Pete Friedmann and his firm are fantastic. He represented me for more than a year going through a suit with a previous employer. He walked me through every step of the process and was always quick to respond to any questions I had. My settlement came in and we parted ways with both sides being pleased with the outcome. I highly recommend the Friedmann firm and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again in the future if the need arose. Thank you, Pete!
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm have been amazing to work with. Rachel was very helpful, listened to our concerns and took our case. She communicated well throughout and really worked for us. We were very well represented!
I loved working with The Friedmann Firm. Rachel and Jamie are exceptional lawyers and were diligent in reviewing my case and letting me know of my options. Jamie was extremely thorough and handled even the smallest details of my case with ease. The entire process was seamless and they were always quick to respond to emails and calls. I would definitely recommend working with The Friedmann Firm.
I would recommend Rachel Sabo Friedmann and the Friedmann firm for severance negotiations. Rachel was always available and responsive and made an effort to ensure I was updated on every step of the process. Her diligent efforts produced a prompt resolution and we are very happy with the results!