Employee Contracts and You: What Should You Do if Your Employer Breaks the Contract?

Your employer has a legal obligation to abide by the contract you both agreed to when you were hired, so what should you do if the terms are violated?

Nobody plans to go to work and feel unsafe. In fact, when you head to your job, you should feel comfortable, at ease, and content with your working environment. Employee contracts are carefully designed to ensure that you are aware of the rights you have at work. Your employee contract might include specific information about how many days off you'll get each year, how much you'll be paid, and what your expected duties are. In some cases, you may have a non-disclosure agreement to sign and you may need to sign a non-compete clause, as well. As an employee, you might be very well versed in what your contract says, but what should you do if your employer breaks your agreement?

First, review the contract you signed. Make sure you understand exactly what you signed. In some cases, your employer's behavior may not actually be a breach of contract. Understand that if there are any exceptions to the policy, your employer may have been within their rights. In many cases, however, you may discover that your employer did, in fact, break their legal obligation. If you do not have a copy of your original contract, you can request a copy from your organization's human resources department to review.

It's important for you to gather as much evidence and documentation as possible to demonstrate how your company or supervisor in general may have broken the contract. Unfortunately, in some cases, this type of violation can be difficult to prove, so try to gather as much information as you can. Save text messages discusses wrongful pay, for example. You should also hang onto paycheck stubs, bank deposit information, emails from your team members discussing the issue, and anything else you believe may be helpful.

You may want to approach your employer to discuss the problem before you resort to legal action. Bringing up a sensitive issue can be difficult, and some employees don't want to do this because they fear retaliation from their supervisors; however, it's important to discuss the issue to see if your company can come up with a reasonable solution that works for all of you. In some cases, your company may bring in a mediator to offer further assistance.

If you are wrongfully terminated for attempting to resolve the problem at work or if you prefer to talk with an attorney before approaching your supervisor, call to schedule an appointment with an employment law attorney who can help you. You may be entitled to damages that will cover the lost wages, as well as emotional pain and suffering caused by the issue. Never hesitate to reach out to an attorney who can advise you as to how you should move forward. Your attorney understands your situation and will try to help you have the best possible outcome.