Can I sue a contract company for a breach of contract?

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Can I sue a contract company for a breach of contract?

I accepted a position last month with contract agency. The contract was for 35 hours per week at a local school district. The contract was signed by myself, the agency, and the school district. A month into my contract, hours were deducted from my pay of which I had no knowledge of until I received my paycheck. I called the contract company to learn that due to budget issues, the school reduced my hours from 35/week to 30/week resulting in what I consider to be a significant pay cut. I decided to quit without giving any notice due to the unprofessionalism of both the district and the agency. Now I am without a job. Is

this situation something that is worth pursuing legally? If so, who is to blame? Should I go after the contract agency or the school district?

Asked on October 19, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you had an actual written contract guarantying you certain hours, you could sue the party you contracted with--that appears to be the contract agency. (You can only sue a party to--that is, someone who signed--a contract for breach of contract.) You could only sue for the extra 5 hours per week you were deprived of, for however many weeks you worked--once you made the decision to quit, you cannot sue for hours or pay for after your last day. 
If you don't have a written contract guarantying minimum hours, then your employment was at will and your hours could be reduced at will--you therefore would have no grounds for a lawsuit.


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