Employment contracts are used to ensure that all parties involved will uphold their end of the agreement within the contract. Usually, employment contracts are upheld. However, sometimes one or more parties are unable or unwilling to keep their end of the deal. When an employment contract has not been upheld by one or more parties, a breach of contract is said to have occurred. The party that violated a clause within this legally binding contract can then be held liable for damages in civil court. When a party is unable to follow through with the contract for whatever reason, they may be granted an injunction to pay restitution or to perform their mandated responsibilities. Employees may feel like they have nowhere to turn when their employer breaches their contract, but you have rights, and an attorney can help you enforce those rights to financial compensation.
Statute of Limitations for Breach of Contract
Under 42 Pa.C.S.A. §5525(a), there is a four-year statute of limitations for breach of contract lawsuits. However, if both parties agreed in the contract for a shorter period of statute of limitations, the time you have to file a lawsuit may be less than four years. Often, an employee does not want to go through the hassle of filing a lawsuit and hopes that the breach of contract will somehow resolve itself or the employer will make good on their word. Months can quickly turn to years, which is why it is best to get on top of any breach of contract early on.
Minor Breach of Contract
A minor breach of contract is referred to as an immaterial or partial breach, and this occurs when one party has met the stipulations for the contract, but there are minor differences with the performance and what the contract demanded.
Fundamental Breach of Contract
When one party completely undermines the contract, a fundamental breach has occurred. This is the most serious type of breach of contract, and the other party is left with no other option but to terminate the agreement.
Material Breach of Contract
A material breach occurs when one party fails to perform a duty within the contract. The aggrieved party may file a lawsuit to require the other party to carry through with their obligation, or they may sue for damages.
Did a Breach Occur?
In order for an employment breach of contract to have occurred, the following questions must be answered according to the American Bar Association:
- Was a contract formed?
- If a contract was formed, what are the terms?
- Did a duty of performance arise?
- Are there any defenses to enforcement?
- Was the contract breached?
- If the contract was breached, what is the appropriate remedy?
A Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Can Help
If you have suffered damages due to your employer’s breach of your employment contract, you have the right to be compensated for your damages or to obligate your employer to follow through on their promise. Call the Pennsylvania breach of contract attorneys of HKM Employment Attorneys today.