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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 116789
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I am submitting my letter of resignation to my employer of

Customer Question

I am submitting my letter of resignation to my employer of 10 years today, to accept a position at a competitor company. Not sure if it matters, but my company is headquartered in CA, but I work remote in DE.
I signed a document in 2011 (I was required to, or faced termination) that indicated "either party wish to terminate the employment relationship, a minimum of 3 months notice must be provided by the terminating party."
At that time, I contacted a lawyer thru this site, and was advised that this document wasn't actually a legally binding contract, as there was no end date? If I understood correctly, it was instead a term of employment, and that as an at-will employee, I could accept that or leave. My question now is how enforceable is that? I would like to end my employment in mid-Sept, giving 6-7 weeks notice, but am being told by my manager that I am required to stay thru the end of Oct. This seems excessive.
My new employer is willing to be flexible with my start date, but indicated that I needed to begin before the start of Q4 (Sept 30) to qualify for a pro-rated year end bonus.
I want to exit professionally, but think that a 3 month notice for a bi-weekly paid position is pretty demanding. Do I have any options?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
While you did not have a contract for a term, which is what you were told, an agreement regarding a term and condition of employment is still a binding contract if you signed it. It is not a contract guaranteeing employment, it is a contract with you agreeing that in exchange for continued employment you agreed to give 3 month notice of termination. Thus, if you signed agreeing to be bound by that, the courts have no choice but to uphold the agreements made between parties as long as they are not illegal. This is not an illegal agreement to enter into, so you would have to negotiate an earlier release with your employer or would have to comply with it or your employer could sue you for any damages they can prove they incurred (or liquidated damages if they were mentioned in the agreement) for you not honoring the terms of that agreement.

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