Although many people who work in New Jersey are at-will employees, some workers have contracts with their employers that define the terms and conditions of their employment. While in many instances, employment contracts are beneficial to employees, in some cases, they provide employers with an unfair advantage. Additionally, even if an employment contract is designed to protect an employee, the employee may nonetheless suffer harm if the employer breaches the contract. If you work in New Jersey and have questions or issues with your employment contract, it is prudent to consult with legal counsel regarding your options for safeguarding your interests. The New Jersey employment attorneys of Resnick Law Group can advise you of your rights under state and federal laws. We regularly assist employees in lawsuits arising out of employment contract disputes in New Jersey and New York.Negotiating an Employment Contract
When an employer asks an employee to sign an employment contract, the employee should consult with legal counsel to understand the terms of the contract and how the different provisions benefit the employee or place undue restrictions on current or future employment. Specifically, an employment contract should contain clear provisions regarding the duration of the contract, compensation, benefits, times, and rates for any salary increases, and whether the contract is subject to renewal. The contract should also clearly explain the duties of the employee and the employer, and how any disputes between them should be resolved.
Additionally, the contract should indicate whether it may be amended, as well as how such amendments will be implemented. The employee should also understand what constitutes just cause for terminating the contract and what severance the employer owes the employee in the event of termination. If the contract contains provisions regarding non-disclosure or a covenant not to compete, they should be structured in a manner so as to not unnecessarily restrict the employee’s ability to earn an income in the future. It is generally in the employee’s best interest to limit the geographic area or duration of any non-compete clause. Negotiating the terms of an employment contract can be arduous and complicated. Thus, if an employer presents an employee with an employment contract, the employee should consider retaining a lawyer to review the contract and assist in negotiating any disputed terms.Elements of a Claim Arising out of the Breach of an Employment Contract
In some instances, even after an employee has signed a comprehensive employment contract, his or her employer may attempt to breach the contract, such as by terminating [link to wrongful discharge / wrongful termination page] the employee without just cause. An employee harmed by an employer’s breach of contract may be able to pursue damages in a civil lawsuit unless the contract provides for an alternative means of resolution.
To recover on a breach of contract claim, the employee must first show that a valid contract exists. It is important to note that not all contracts are written, and a breach of an oral contract is actionable as well if the employee can demonstrate a verbal agreement created a contractual right. In cases involving written contracts, proving the existence of a contract is easy. When the dispute involves an oral contract, proving the existence of a contract can be complicated. The employee must then show that the employer failed to perform an obligation defined under the contract and that this breach caused the employee to suffer losses. Generally, an employee who demonstrates that an employer breached a contract may be awarded damages to compensate for the losses caused by the breach.Confer with an Experienced Attorney in New Jersey Today
Employment contracts can protect employees. However, when employers do not honor their contractual obligations, you may need legal assistance to protect your rights. The experienced attorneys of the Resnick Law Group have the skills and knowledge needed to pursue your employment law case. Our Roseland office serves people with employment contract issues in New Jersey, including in Bergen, Hudson, Somerset, Essex, Passaic, Union, Hunterdon, Morris, Middlesex, Mercer, Warren, Monmouth, and Sussex Counties. We also have a Manhattan office to provide convenient access to clients in New York City, as well as Rockland and Westchester Counties. You can reach us through our online form or at our Roseland office at (973) 781-1204, or at our New York office at (646) 867-7997.