How best to terminate an oral contract?

I am an IC licensed massage therapist. I had an oral contract with a company who was bought out last year. The new owners kept me on with the same original arrangements. I wish to give the company/new owner a 30 day notice of termination. I want to be brief in my explanation since I do not think it will end well. First, will writing the termination letter be binding enough for an oral agreement? Second, I am offering 30 days notice, however how brief can I make this? I am tempted to just say, “I am out of here next month” but I am sure it should cover certain legal points, yes?

Asked on June 10, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Hampshire


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if there is no definitive or specified period or duration (or some other benchmark which you agreed to reach before the contract terminates--e.g. some amount of reveune, some number of patients, etc.) for the contract, it is terminable at will--you can think of it in this case as less a "contract" in many senses than a set of terms and rate schedule which you and the company bothh adhere to when you work together. Therefore, you can provide 30 days notice--or less; you don't have to explain yourself; and you should be prepared that if you do give 30 days notice, they may tell you to leave or stop immediately.

If there are specific dates, durations, benchmarks, etc. to which you have agreed, that would be different; you would need to terminate the relationship then in accordance with the terms you agreed to.

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