Do I have legal grounds for suing my formr employer if they breached the terms of my contract?

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Do I have legal grounds for suing my formr employer if they breached the terms of my contract?

I took an educational assistance bonus from a national drugstore chain after pharmacy school (15K) and signed a contract to work in an area of need for them (the contract was specific on rate of pay and cities that I would be assigned to). During the contract, they required me to work in other areas (that were not in the contract) and lowered my rate of pay despite my objections to working elsewhere. I stopped working there about 6 months before my 3-year contract was up. Now they have turned me over to a collection agency to repay the entire 15K. I am thinking of suing them. Do I have a case?

Asked on May 12, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is impossible for any attorney to say for certain whether you have a cause without reviewing the contract, since its specific language or terms is key to understanding your rights and obligations. That said, as a general matter, an employment contract is binding on both parties, employer and employeed, and the employer may not unilaterally change its terms. If the employer was breaching the agreement in some material or significant way (which is a fact-based inquiry; for example, how much lower was your pay, or  where you assigned, as opposed to where you should have been stationed), that breach could both justify your non-performance of your obligations or even termination of the contract, and also provide grounds to recover monetary compensation.

Based on what you write, it is possible you have a case, and it would be well worth your while to consult with an attorney, who can review the contrract and situation with you.


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