Any time either party in an employment contract does not meet certain restrictions or requirements agreed to, that is what is called a breach of employment contract.
If you feel like you may have fallen victim to a breach of employment contract, whether as an employee or employer, this article is for you. Read further to find out exactly what constitutes as a breach of employment contract, and what situations are grounds to seek suing the offended party for breaching said contract.
What is a Breach of Employment Contract?
A breach of employment contract, as mentioned above, is when either party involved in the contract fails to perform the duties laid out by the contract, or purposely goes against what was legally agreed to at the time that the contract was signed.
For example, if your employer refuses to pay you when they said they would, or terminated you without proper notice. Your employer has now broken the contract they had with you.
Or, if you are the employer and your worker refuses to work the hours they agreed to, or they share company secrets with another party, then your employee has broken the employment contract.
In either situation, it is always best to try to work things out internally without going to court. But if you are not able to reach an agreement, you may need to get attorneys involved.
What Situations are Grounds for Breach of Contract?
Are you still unsure? Here are some situations that are grounds for breach of contract. If any of these has happened to you, whether you are an employer or employee, you have grounds to file for breach of employment contract.
- Non-payment of wages or expenses owed: Whenever your contract stipulates that your employer pay you a certain wage (hourly, salary, overtime, travel expenses, etc.), and they fail to do so. This includes any holiday or sick pay that was negotiated and agreed to when the contract was formed.
- Changes made to contract that you did not agree to: Any time your employer changes the original contract (job duties, pay rates, etc.), they are supposed to present it to you to review, agree to, and sign off on it. If they do not, they have broken the contract.
- Wrongful termination: If they have terminated you based on discrimination (which is handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)), you are fired before the terms of your contract are up, or they terminate you without proper notice or compensation.
- Non-payment during notice period: If you are entitled to a severance package upon termination, something that is normally agreed to at the signing of the contract, and your employer fails to provide you with it, they are in breach.
- Non-delivery on promised benefits: Outside of payment, if your employer promised you other perks of employment, like health benefits or a car, and refuses to deliver on that promise, they are in breach.
Before claiming that the other party is in breach of contract, you need to have credible evidence that they have not upheld their end of the contract.
The best way to prove any sort of contract breach is first with the contract, which is why written contracts are better for this sort of situation. For instance, it is easier to prove that your employer has not paid you what they agreed to by simply comparing what is stipulated in the contract with your pay stubs.
But even spoken or implied contracts that are broken can be proven if you have solid enough evidence.
Speak to an Employment Attorney Today
You are certain that either your employee or employer has broken the employment contract they have with you. You have gone through the proper channels to try to resolve this internally, and you have all the paperwork you need to prove that the other party is in breach.
Your next step, then, is to contact an employment attorney to begin the process of claiming a breach of contract against that party. Please reach out to a Virginia employment attorney at The Brown Firm today and we will be happy to discuss your options with you.