Can I get out of a fixed term contract with 2 month notice?

I signed a contract to work at a private school on 6/1 to start in Sept. and then realized it’s not the right decision for me. The director was in India, I never got a signed contract returned to me from her, and let her know on 6/23 that I did not want to work for her program. She is now threatening to sue me, because of loss of enrollment. What are my options?

Asked on July 1, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you signed a contract, then you can be held to it even if a signed copy was never returned to you--there is no legal obligation or requirement that you get back a signed copy before it can be enforced against you. If you violate the contract, then you could be sued for any provable losses (including lost profit) or costs you caused the other party to incur. You cannot get out of a contract with 2 months notice, unless and only if the contract itself stated, by its very terms, that you could terminate the contract early with sufficient notice; but if the contract does not provide that, then it doesn't matter how much notice you give--you are still obligated. Based on what you write, you appear to be obligated to the contract and could potentially be sued if you breach it.


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