How long does a company have to say you breached contract and owe money?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How long does a company have to say you breached contract and owe money?

I work or worked for a dance company and I was involved in a car accident and have not been able to attend class. I contacted the manager for my pay check for 2 classes. After having to email her twice because of her lack to response, she finally emails me back and states that now I owe her money. She is saying that over 2 months ago I breached the contract. I have been in contact with the lady since the car accidents to tell give her my doctor’s notes but not until I request my paycheck for the month of April, does she come with a list of things I did. I feel she is doing this because she does not want to pay me. I tried to put in my 90 day notice with her and she pressured me to stay pretty much not allowing me to put in the notice forcing me to continue teaching and see how I feel. She would not accept my answer of feeling her company is not a fit for me. And now she is telling me I owe her company money. Even if I did breach contract per the contract, I feel she is not asking for the money out of spite. I strongly feel if I never asked for the money, she would have never contacted me again about the payments she feels I owe her. Even when I sent in my doctor’s notes to let her know I could no longer work, she never contacted me back. My issue is that if she knew months ago that I breached contract, why is she just now bringing it up that I am asking for my paycheck. I think that is wrong and not fair. If I was making mistakes or doing things wrong then they should have been brought to my attention at that time, especially if monetary disciplinary action was involved

Asked on June 26, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In your state (Virginia), if it was an unwritten (oral) contract, they have up to three years from when you allegdly breached it to assert a claim for breach of contract against you. For a written contract, up to five years. Their motivation in why they bring the claim is irrelevant: e.g. it doesn't matter if they'd have let it go unless you asked for money from them. All that matters is whether you did breach the contract.

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