Breach of contract? Wrongful termination?

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Breach of contract? Wrongful termination?

I entered an employment contract at a food
service company. I was told I would start
working after the winter break. I was hired and
deemed an ’employee’ before the break
started. Now that the break has ended they say
I’m not needed. I already have received
detailed insurance information through the mail
with my employee ID on it dated mid-break. Is
this a wrongful termination?

Asked on January 25, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Was it really an employment contract? To be an enforceable employment contract, besides being in writing, it must guaranty you a job for a fixed or set period of time: for example, one-year contract starting Feb. 1, 2018 and ending Jan. 31, 2019. If the document you are referring to met these criteria, and does not have some clause or provision allowing them to terminate it early, they have to employ you for the designated period of time, and if they don't, you could sue them.
But if there is not set or fixed time during which you were guaranteed in writing employment, then they could end your employment whenever they wanted--even before it begins. Only with employment guaranteed for a set time do you have enforceable rights.


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