Breach of contract? Wrongful termination?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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