Is it legal for my employer to withhold the contracts I signed when becoming an employee?

I recently quit my job and signed quite a few documents due to the nature of my job, which was maid service. Part of those contracts was a contract saying I would not steal any clients, however a majority of their clients left their service once I quit as the only reason they stayed with them was because I was

good at my job and now they have contacted me seeking to employee me privately. I however do not want to breach my contract but do not have copies of said contracts, so I asked my previous employer to please provide me with the contracts I signed, they have denied me this. Is this legal? Is there any legal action I can take in order to acquire the contracts? I really do not want to breach my contracts but if they are not being forthcoming then I would like to know what I am able to do in this situation.

Asked on April 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no legal obligation for party A to share copies of the contracts with party B to those contracts--it's more encumbent on party B to request and make sure he/she has or gets copies of them when signing.
There is no way to get them outside of a legal action. You could affirmatively sue your employer, seeking to get a court determination ("declaratory judgment") as to the exact parameters of your liability, and in the course of doing so, get copies; or take your best guess at compliance and, if sued by the employer, get copies then in the lawsuit in the course of defending yourself.


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