Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification
If the employer has no damage clause,
does it state anywhere you are an at will employee?
in that case, the employer could sue you for any damages they face
if you breach the contract,
in terms of damage, they would have to prove that your loss,
caused them damage,
Even without the mention of damages, since it is a contract a breach will be handled
as any contract,
and the other side can claim they should be reimbursed for any damages that incurred,
it would be hard for the employer to prove damages,
if you provide notice the damages issue would be mitigated,
yes, you can advise them of a family emergency, and you have to leave,
many times that may allow you to leave without an issue,
I would not mention that
you would need an official release signed by them, stating they are releasing you from the contract early
It is an at will state, however a contract that is made between employees and employers supersede the at will doctrine,
if they put a clause that states you can only be terminated for cause,
they could not fire you for any other reason
You can have a general clause that allows you to leave for any reason with 30 days notice,
Or limit the contract for one year,
I would send a simple resignation letter, and prove 2-4 weeks notice, and if you wish you can state you will help train and recruit the new person,
By doing this you mitigate any potential damage to your reputation as well
You can wait, however you do not want to lose the new job,
Also, for the small non profit to litigate such a case, it would cost several thousand dollars to start, and take time, so they may not consider it
yes, the later it is to completion the better
You should provide adequate notice, and help with the new director, either way,
if you can mitigate the alleged damage the better,
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.
Good luck, and If satisfied please provide us with positive feedback, thank you
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