Breach of Contract
What is Breach of Contract?
Where an employer makes certain promises in an employment agreement, and then breaks those promises, you as an employee may well have a legal claim against your employer.
Your rights to bring such claim differ depending on the type of contract that has been entered into, with employment contracts generally taking one of two forms. The first is what we more typically think of as a formal contract – a written document, negotiated and then signed by the employer and the employee, promising employment for a specific period of time, and setting out the pay, benefits, etc., over the life of the contract. The second is a very different kind of contract, referred to as an “implied contract” because it is based on promises that are implied by the provisions of an employee handbook and not on any negotiated agreement.
As to the written employment contract, the problem is that there are employers who don’t honor the agreements they negotiate. Over the years, we have handled numerous cases against employers who have signed contracts promising employees a certain salary, bonus, or severance pay, only to then turn around and break the promises they have made. While these cases may not be easy, the issue is always clear: was the contract broken or not.
Breach of Implied Contract
On the other hand, cases alleging a breach of implied contract require a very different analysis. An employee handbook can give rise to an implied contract only if the promises made in the handbook are very specific and definite. Even then, the employer can prevent the creation of an implied contract if it has placed a “clear and prominent disclaimer” at the front of the handbook.
Breach of contract cases can raise complex issues of law. Attorneys Richard Schall and Patricia Barasch, who have more than 50 years combined experience representing employees, including successfully trying breach of contract cases for our clients, enjoy the challenge of tackling the most difficult legal issues, taking on the biggest corporations in New Jersey, along with their law firms, and protecting the contractual rights of our clients.
If you believe you have an employment contract that has been broken, please contact our firm by clicking on the link below, “Help Us Understand Your Case,” and completing the on-line Questionnaire. We will get back to you within 24-to-48 hours of receiving your questionnaire. Or call us at (856) 914-9200.
Richard Schall agues against forced arbitration before the New Jersey Supreme Court