You've worked hard to get where you are today. You were promoted to an executive position, and before starting the job, you worked out an employment contract that you believed would serve you well. Well, you've been in your position for some time now and your employer has not been honoring the terms of your contract. What can you do?
California residents, whether they work for big or small companies, whether they are in executive or lower level positions, have the legal right to question their employers if the terms of their employment contracts have been violated. Breach of contract is a serious offense. Here is what you need to know about it and how to seek compensation for any losses such a breach has caused you.
Breach of contract
A breach of contract occurs when one party does not live up to the promises made in a contract. So, say you met all your goals for the business quarter. According to your contract you are due a bonus of a certain percentage. Time passes, no bonus. Your employer comes up with some excuse for the lack of payment. Your employer's refusal to pay out your bonus per the terms of your contract would be a breach of contract.
Resolving a breach of contract case
There a few ways to resolve a breach of contract case. The first action generally advised is simply starting the conversation. You can submit to your employer a request in writing which states the issue and how you would like to see it resolved. If you and your employer cannot reach terms after you file a formal complaint, then you can try mediation. Mediation is where all applicable parties meet to work out a solution to the problem. If such negotiations fail to produce result, the last resort is going to court.
While many of these cases do not end up in court, sometimes there is no avoiding it. If your case does go this far, it will be up to you and your legal counsel to prove that four specific elements exist in your case in order to achieve a win. These elements are:
- The contract was valid.
- Both parties agreed to the contract terms.
- You lived up to your end of the contract terms.
- A breach occurred, and you notified the other party before pursuing a lawsuit.
Legal counsel can help you gather the required information to present in court.
Reaching a resolution in a breach of contract case can take time. It is time well spent, though, if it means your employer will be held accountable for not meeting the terms of your employment contract. If your case is successful, you may achieve compensation for any economic and non-economic losses you've suffered.