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Can I Quit My Job if I Signed an Employment Contract?

calender-alt October 15, 2020
user-alt By Peter Friedmann

Yes. You have an undeniable right to quit your job at any time for any reason. No one can force you to work against your will.  However, your contract likely dictates whether you need to give notice to your employer before resigning, along with describing what occurs if you fail to give adequate notice as defined by your employment contract.

What happens if you quit a contract job?

You must understand that quitting can have consequences. Ohio law allows employers to fully enforce the terms of employment contracts they enter into with employees.

This situation has important implications for how much money you may receive after you quit and whether you can immediately accept a position with one of your former employer’s competitors or clients. Each employment contract is different so it is important to consult with an employment lawyer to understand what happens if you resign, based on your employment contract.

Non-compete Clauses in Employment Agreements

Most standard employment contracts in Ohio contain a clause that prohibits workers from taking jobs with competitors, also called non-compete agreements. The language varies, but these clauses typically seek to stop employees from working for competitors within a specific geographic area (ex: 10 miles from a former employer), stealing clients and customers, and soliciting former co-workers to come work for the competitor.

Courts typically enforce non-compete agreements so do not assume that just because you resigned, your non-compete is void.  This is not true – courts generally enforce non-compete agreements whether you resign or are terminated. Consult with an employment attorney before going to work for a competitor if you know you are bound by a non-compete agreement.  If you do not, you risk being sued by your former employer for breach of the non-compete agreement.

Can an Employment Contract Be Voided?

Typically, no.  If any portion of the employment contract is voided, it does not mean that the rest of the employment contract is void.  In fact, the opposite is true. If a portion of the employment agreement is found to be void for some reason, the remaining provisions are still enforceable.

If you need help negotiating, interpreting, or enforcing your employment contract, consider reaching out to an attorney at The Friedmann Firm. We are available to advise and represent workers all across Ohio, and we offer free consultations. Call us at 614.610.9755 or schedule an appointment online.

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