White Plains Employment Contract Disputes Lawyers
Employment Contract Dispute Resolution in New York
Most employees in White Plains are “at will,” meaning their employer has the legal right to fire them at any time and for almost any reason. Nevertheless, employment contracts are popular in some industries, and many professionals receive contracts which spell out their pay, benefits, and reasons for termination. Employment contracts provide protection for both employer and employee and should be drafted by experienced attorneys.
At Carey & Associates, P.C., we stand on the front lines representing parties in disputes involving employment contracts. If your rights have been violated, please contact us today. We will review the contract and what happened before helping you choose the best course of action.
Key Terms in an Employment Contract
There is no “one size fits all” employment contract. Still, we see employers use them to set the terms of your employment, especially with respect to the following:
- Duration of employment (usually 1 or 2 years)
- Pay or salary
- Bonuses and other forms of compensation
- Benefits, like health insurance and short-term disability
- Benchmarks or performance metrics an employee must meet
- Disciplinary procedures
- Grounds for termination
- Non-compete agreements
- Nondisclosure agreements
- Severance packages
- Mandatory arbitration and/or mediation clauses
Although workers can negotiate a contract before signing, the reality is that many workers need a job, so they quickly agree with any proposed terms.
Suing an Employer for Breach of Contract
An employment contract is legally enforceable on the parties which signed it. Unfortunately, many employers decide to violate an employment contract on certain issues, particularly discipline and termination. The employer might lay off a contracted employee for no valid reason and quickly stop paying them.
When one party violates a contract, it has “breached” the agreement. The most common remedy is to sue in court for money damages. For example, if you were wrongfully terminated with a year left on your contract, you can seek compensation to cover your lost wages and benefits. If you weren’t paid bonuses as agreed to in the contract, you could sue for the amount owed.
An employee who hasn’t been fired might hesitate to sue because they fear retaliation. For example, they might have been disciplined but not yet terminated. We appreciate the concern. Our White Plains employment contract dispute lawyers will review your options in a consultation.
Can an Employer Sue an Employee for Breach?
Yes, but this is somewhat rarer. If an employee fails to live up to their bargain, then the employment contract usually provides a simple remedy: termination. However, we sometimes see employers bring a lawsuit after the employee has left the job.
For example, many contracts contain non-compete clauses. These clauses restrict an employee’s ability to work for a competitor for a certain amount of time after leaving employment. A typical non-compete clause might state an employee can’t work for an industry competitor in New York for a year after leaving. If you do, then an employer might sue you for breach.
In situations like these, an employee will want to look closely at the clause that they are accused of violating. The reality is that some employment contracts contain illegal terms. For example, a noncompete agreement might be too broad and consequently illegal. If so, the employee cannot be held liable in court for breaching an illegal contract term.
Alternative Dispute Resolution & Employment Contracts
Many employers include mandatory arbitration or mediation clauses in their employment contracts. By signing the agreement, the employee agrees that they will use these methods to resolve any employment dispute.
Arbitration is similar to a court proceeding, but private. Each side presents their case to one or more arbitrators, who act like judges. Evidence can include documents, witness testimony, and other evidence. The arbitrator then decides the dispute and makes an award.
Employers like arbitration because it is private and keeps embarrassing employer-employee disputes out of the media. However, arbitration is sometimes cumbersome, especially if you work for a large corporation with offices in several states. The arbitration clause might state you have to arbitrate far from home, which makes it more expensive to protect your rights. Your attorney can review whether the clause will stand up in court and can challenge any attempt to compel arbitration.
Speak with a White Plains Employment Contract Disputes Lawyer Today
Carey & Associates is a law specializing in employment law. Employment contracts are a crucial source of rights for workers, and we use our experience to advance your interests in an employment dispute. To learn more, please call us today, at (203) 255-4150 to schedule a time to meet with one of our lawyers.
- Employment Counseling
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Age Discrimination
- Severance Negotiations
- Sexual Harassment & Gender Discrimination
- Connecticut Executive Compensation Lawyers
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- Sexual Orientation and Transgender (LGBTQ)
- Whistleblower Protection
- Family Medical Leave Act
- Pension and Disability Benefits Litigation
- Employment Defamation
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- Noncompetition and Nonsolicitation Agreements
- Wrongful Termination
- Retaliation Discrimination
Mark and his team at Carey & Associates are incredibly knowledgeable about Employment Law and have walked me through every step of the way. Their approach and guidance has been extremely effective in dealing with my case. They instill a sense of confidence by laying out the facts, caselaw, and risk assessment to help make well informed decisions. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for an Employment Attorney.
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