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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 35319
Experience:  16 years practicing attorney
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How binding is an employment agreement? if I signed one

Customer Question

how binding is an employment agreement? if I signed one stating I will work for someone and then change my mind, can I terminate it without facing legal reprecussions?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Have you actually started working for the person yet?
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Does the contract state any type of penalty for cancellation of the contract?
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Does the contract have a fixed duration?
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Do you know if the employer has incurred any expenses in preparing for you to come work for them?
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I haven't officially started working yet ,though I went to observe on 2 different occasions without pay.
I signed a contract saying I was supposed to start on the 3rd but I actually did not because he still has an employee that will work for him till the 13th.
the contract does not say any penalty for cancellation except that it says I should give them "60 days notice ,given by either party in the event of resignation or termination without cause"
There is no contract duration
the only expense that I know of is the scrub suit with my name and position written on it
let me scan the 2 documents so you can see the file
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, if you haven't actually started and there is no specific duration then it would be considered an "at will" employment agreement. This means that either party can terminate the agreement at any time without any notice.
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So since they haven't really incurred any costs in preparing for your coming to work, I don't see any repercussions to you if you notify them that you have reconsidered and are going to decline the employment and pursue other options.
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
here's a copy of the document
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
could you read the documents I just sent?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
I don't see this as being enforceable in court unless the employer can actually prove that they have incurred the damages that they are claiming. The fact that there is no fixed duration of the contract makes this an at will employment situation as I mentioned earlier..
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So I find it very unlikely that they could prove that they have incurred those type of damages if you haven't actually started working for them and them trying to charge you for whatever wages you would have earned is kind of a ridiculous thing to demand as they are essentially asking you to pay them what you would have earned for 60 days...
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I don't see any judge ruling for them if they actually tried to pursue this in court as this looks like a penalty clause, which are generally unenforceable, and not liquidated damages, which are intended to compensate the non-breaching party for their losses.
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thanks
Barrister