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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 28 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I signed a 3 month initial contract with a clinic (veterinary)

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I signed a 3 month initial contract with a clinic (veterinary) followed by a 1-year contract in Maryland. It has been a year, and my contract is in effect till October. As far as I can tell, there are no mentions of what happens if I break the contract and leave early (financially). I got another offer and want to leave current clinic by July. I did give a 60-day notice. My employer stated that I can only leave if they find a replacement by July (which they do not see happening). Otherwise, they state they want to enforce my staying until October. What are the consequence of leaving the job early (still with a 60 day notice but prior to contract date).

In addition to this, during the first 3 months of initial contract, they overpaid me. They chose to take out this amount of money over the next 6 months from my paycheck. My 1-year contract states what I should be getting, and it does not match the numbers they were paying me because of this. Could this be considered a breach of contract on their part?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. Can you tell me if you are saying that there is no liquidated damages clause in your contract of any kind?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

There are only liquidated damages for spreading personal information and non-compete, non-disclosure. The clinic I am going to is out of the radius and should not be a problem for them.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello again and thank you for your reply. Since there is no specific liquidated damages clause for breach of the contract in general, your employer could still file suit for breach. However, they would have to establish their damages. Usually what that would be, would be loss of business because they didn't have you there to take patients, or the extra cost of temporarily bringing someone in if they have to pay them more than they pay you.

As for them paying you less because they overpaid you before, that would not be considered a breach, since they are entitled to recoup overpayment of wages, assuming they did overpay you.

Please let me know if you have any related follow up questions. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17430
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 28 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Marsha411JD and 4 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, I know it's technically an extra question. But how common is it for an employer to sue for damages in this situation (especially since I did provide a reasonable notice). I read somewhere that it is more hassle for them to do so then just let go. Are those lawsuits usually end in favor of employers? Thank you so much.


 


Ana.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
No problem Ana, that is what I am here for. It isn't that common for a small employer to file suit unless the damages they suffer are significant. In other words, you are right, it wouldn't be worth their trouble, money wise, for just the principle and a few dollars. So, unless they lose several thousand dollars, they probably won't bother. The fact that you are giving them 60 days notice does help your case, as that is not an unreasonable time and they would have to show that they tried in good faith from the get go to replace you and couldn't in order to argue that you should have to pay damages.

But if they do sue and they can establish damages and a good faith effort to replace you, then they would have the law of contracts on their side.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you very much. I think I will just have to take the risk and leave them for a much better offer anyway. You've been very helpful!


 


Ana.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome and best of luck to you!

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Licensed Attorney with 28 yrs. exp in Employment Law