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What you can do if your employer breaches your contract

The business world can be vicious. In some cases, predatory employers may try to screw you over. If you are suspicious that your employer is mistreating you by breaching your employment contract, you may be able to take legal action. 

But how do you know if your contract has been breached, and what exactly should you do about it? These questions are answered below. 

What counts as a breach of contract?

Employment contracts are documents that are legally binding with the purpose of establishing an agreement between an employer and employee. If any of the terms of such a contract are broken, it is considered a breach. Here are some examples of breaches of contract:

  • Failure to pay wages
  • Failure to pay you after you hand in your notice of leaving the job
  • Failure to pay owed travel expenses
  • Changing the terms and conditions of your contract without you signing off on it 

However, all these circumstances may not apply to your situation. It is also possible your employer could violate something stated in the initial job advertisement. Your employer could also be breaking the law through discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination.

What to do if your contract has been breached

If you feel like your employer is in violation of your contract, you should look over your copy of the contract. According to the American Bar Association, your goal is to find an enforceable promise your employer has broken. There are likely some terms in your contract written in legal language, so you may want to consult with an employment law attorney to determine if there is a true breach of contract. 

When your employer breaches your contract, you may be able to resolve the problem with the human resources department. Otherwise, you may need to consider litigation and pursue compensatory damages.

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