Breach Of Employment Contract: Should You Sue?

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( — August 23, 2022) — You have an employment contract. You’ve fulfilled your side of the bargain, but now the company that employed you isn’t fulfilling theirs. You’re understandably upset, and you’re wondering if you should sue. But before you get the ball rolling, you might want to pause and do some thinking. The wisdom of suing an employer depends on a lot of little things apart from the contract itself, and it’s a good idea to think them through before committing to a lawsuit. 

How Badly Does the Breach Disadvantage You?

Embarking on a lawsuit isn’t a course you should take lightly. However, there are some instances of breach of contract that could really harm you. Wrongful termination would be among the worst of these. You lose your source of income, even though you had an agreement that you’d only face losing your job under a specific set of circumstances. HKM, a law firm specializing in employment law, has handled many such cases, and the financial restitution you could win would help you to recover from the financial losses you suffered. 

But, if it’s just a matter of 30 minutes added to the agreed workday, it’s still not good, but also not a situation that would harm you unduly. Maybe, it’s just a matter of finding another job or putting up with the inconsistency. In theory, yes, you could sue. But is it worth it? So, the first question you should ask yourself is “How badly does this affect me?”

Have You Tried Talking to Management?

Whether or not you still work for the employer, talking things through might lead to a satisfactory solution. Simply pointing out that your contract stipulates a certain duty on your employer’s part and showing that it wasn’t fulfilled might be all you need to do. It’s certainly preferable to a lawsuit, and the company might think so too. In taking your employer to task about the unfulfilled contract clause, act professionally and calmly. State the issue, and propose a solution. Leave it at that, and allow a reasonable amount of time for them to give you feedback. 

Do You Still Want the Job?

Retaliating against you because you have filed a lawsuit is illegal. But if your employer retaliates, you have to prove it. That can be difficult to do. A chilly atmosphere in the office might be unpleasant, but it doesn’t amount to retaliation. Nit-picking your work for mistakes isn’t illegal either. All in all, you might want to find another job before suing your employer for breach of contract. If you don’t want to change jobs, you’re likely to be more comfortable at work if you don’t call down the weight of the law. 

How Bad Will the Resume Gap Be?

Legal disputes and good work references don’t usually go well together. It may be a cheap shot, but knowing that you sued will make prospective employers wary of offering you a post. And chances are, you won’t even know what was said about you. In a competitive job market, even a hint of conflict in a previous workplace may be enough to give recruiters second thoughts about your suitability for a post. As a result, you might want to leave that particular experience off your resume. But how long will the gap be? How much would it hurt your career? 

Talk to a Lawyer – But Consider the Ramifications

If your employment contract has been breached by your employer, you should certainly consult a lawyer. But don’t rush into a lawsuit just yet. Think it through. Negotiate, or ask whether your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf. Amicable settlement is by far preferable to an acrimonious end to your employment relationship. If all else fails and the breach causes you serious harm – go for it! No company is above the law!