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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.


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