contract employee, want to resign for better opportunity, can the employer take legal action?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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contract employee, want to resign for better opportunity, can the employer take legal action?

I am currently employed in the company and I have an agreement with employer, It
was mentioned that if I resign within 18 months period from joining, the company
has the right to pursue legal action to recover liquidated damages to compensate
for business loss . But now I have got a good opportunity, and a year has passed,
do I need to pay the employer in case I resign?

Asked on November 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends: do you have a written employment contract which states that? If you do, then yes, they can sue you: an employee can contractually agree to work for a certain term and could be sued if he breaches that agreement; he can also agree to liquidated (or pre-defined damages) in the event he breaches the agreement.
On the other hand, employment is normally--in the absence of a contact--employment at will, and an employee could usually resign at any time. So if there is no written contract locking you in, you could leave.
So it all comes down to whether you have a contract and, if so, what it says.

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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