Employment Law

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Do you work in Employment Law? Colorado. I am currently at…

Do you work in...

Do you work in Employment Law?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Colorado

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

I am currently at will. My employer is now requiring a one-year contract I don't find favorable

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I want to know the possible (worst-case scenario) ramifications for signing the one-year contract and then leaving the company before the term ends.

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
10/10/2017
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,392
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

The worst case scenario is that you are sued for breach of contract. If the contract contains a clause entitling your employer to recover it's attorney fees, those alone could be more than ten thousand dollars, and that assumes you allow the case to go to "default," meaning you don't actively defend. If you defend and the case goes to trial, attorney fees could be well in excess of $40,000.

The other thing you need to loko out for is what's called a liquidated damages clause. This is a clause in a contract which basically says that since actual damages would be difficult if not impossible to determine, a certain predetermined sum in damages will apply. Courts have typically limited the enforceability of liquidated damages clauses to amounts that are reasonable, so it's not as though an employer could put $1,000,000 as liquidated damages. But if there was a clause providing for a certain percent of your annual salary as liquidated damages, it would likely be upheld.

If there is no liquidated damages clause and no attorney fee clause, your exposure for breach of contract is more limited because your employer would have to prove actual out of pocket damages. This would include things like having to pay other employees overtime while they were shorthanded looking for a replacement, the difference between your salary and your replacement if they are forced to hire someone more expensive, and other things along these lines. In many cases the actual out of pocket damages for breach of a term employment contract are so minimal as to be not worth pursuing, so there is the possibility that even if you did breach the contract a lawsuit would not even be filed because it just wouldn't be worth your employer's time and money.

I hope this gives you a general idea of the possibilities and that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

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Are you still with me? I tried to be as prompt as possible. Can you please let me know if you got my answer?

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Hello?

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I received your answer, thank you. I had to take a call right after you wrote.

I'm glad I could help. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the attorneys here are not employees of the site and otherwise do not receive credit for spending time with customers.

Best wishes to you as you move forward here.

Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,392
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified
Patrick, Esq. and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Patrick, I have another question. If I do not sign the contract, and I do not resign, I am assuming that will force them to fire me. They want all employees to be on contract. Is it likely I will be able to collect unemployment if I do not sign the contract, forcing them to make a move? My concern is that since there is an offer I could have accepted, I would not be approved for unemployment compensation.
I realized unemployment is reserved for being unemployed through no fault of the employee. If it my "fault" that I didn't sign an unfavorable contract?

No problem....

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question

When you are terminated, the question is whether you were terminated for misconduct. Refusing to sign an employment contract locking you in for a fixed term is not misconduct. So long as you make clear that you are able and willing to continue working without a fixed term contract, termination under these circumstance would not typically result in a denial of benefits.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you. That is good to know.

No problem, glad to help.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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