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wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17252
Experience:  14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits
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I have a 2 year employment contract in New York State but want

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I have a 2 year employment contract in New York State but want to terminate the agreement early. There is no language stating any consequences if I did end the contract early. Am I at risk to be sued for breach of contract?

wallstreetfighter :

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

wallstreetfighter :

If the employer has no damage clause,

wallstreetfighter :

does it state anywhere you are an at will employee?

Customer: No it does not state I'm at will
wallstreetfighter :

in that case, the employer could sue you for any damages they face

Customer: it only has language that they can terminate me for cause or illness
wallstreetfighter :

if you breach the contract,

Customer: even if there is no mention of damages in the contract?
wallstreetfighter :

in terms of damage, they would have to prove that your loss,

wallstreetfighter :

caused them damage,

wallstreetfighter :

Even without the mention of damages, since it is a contract a breach will be handled

wallstreetfighter :

as any contract,

wallstreetfighter :

and the other side can claim they should be reimbursed for any damages that incurred,

Customer: im the executive director of a small nonprofit so I guess it would be if they couldn't fill my position before my departure
wallstreetfighter :

it would be hard for the employer to prove damages,

wallstreetfighter :

yes,

wallstreetfighter :

if you provide notice the damages issue would be mitigated,

Customer: right if I provided 4-6 weeks notice
wallstreetfighter :

right,

Customer: first thing to try would be to simply ask to mutually end the contract?
wallstreetfighter :

yes, you can advise them of a family emergency, and you have to leave,

wallstreetfighter :

many times that may allow you to leave without an issue,

Customer: its a new offer in a new state
wallstreetfighter :

I would not mention that

Customer: they would find out even if I didn't say anything. Small community within this specific industry
Customer: what would I need in writing if they agreed to end the contract early?
wallstreetfighter :

you would need an official release signed by them, stating they are releasing you from the contract early

Customer: I thought emplyment in ny state is at will regardless of contract?
wallstreetfighter :

It is an at will state, however a contract that is made between employees and employers supersede the at will doctrine,

wallstreetfighter :

if they put a clause that states you can only be terminated for cause,

wallstreetfighter :

they could not fire you for any other reason

Customer: What language could be included In a future contract to give me more leeway?
wallstreetfighter :

You can have a general clause that allows you to leave for any reason with 30 days notice,

wallstreetfighter :

Or limit the contract for one year,

Customer: Any other advice?
wallstreetfighter :

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,

wallstreetfighter :

By doing this you mitigate any potential damage to your reputation as well

Customer: Should I wait to sign my new contract until this is sorted out?
wallstreetfighter :

You can wait, however you do not want to lose the new job,

Customer: if I didn't have another offer obviously I wouldn't be leaving
wallstreetfighter :

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

Customer: Does the time left on my contract have any effect as well?
wallstreetfighter :

yes, the later it is to completion the better

Customer: Two years. Began in July 2012
wallstreetfighter :

You should provide adequate notice, and help with the new director, either way,

Customer: no doubt
wallstreetfighter :

if you can mitigate the alleged damage the better,

Customer: I think that's it then
wallstreetfighter :

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Customer: thanks so much
wallstreetfighter :

Good luck, and If satisfied please provide us with positive feedback, thank you

wallstreetfighter and 3 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you