If I’m under a 2 year contract with no clauses or restrictions, can I get out of it with 10 months left?

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If I’m under a 2 year contract with no clauses or restrictions, can I get out of it with 10 months left?

I work in the healthcare field. My company has recently become unstable employee checks are bouncing they are months late on paying phone and Internet bills and I recently found out they have unlicensed personnel working with patients. I’m currently under a 2 year contract with 10 months left. How can I get out of it and can I?

Asked on February 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Since the terms of a contract are critical to understanding one's rights under it--including when one has the right to terminate the contract--for a definitive answer, you should bring the contract to an employment law attorney who can analyze it for you.

That said, failing to pay you on time would likely be a material (or critical) breach of the employment contract which would justify you in terminating it early. The whole point of working is exchanging labor/service for pay; when you are regularly or commonly not paid on time or in full, that is a major breach. Failure to reimburse would be a breach if the employment contract itself contained a term or clause relating to reimbursement; otherwise, this would not breach the contract, though you could likely sue the employer for any expenses it asked, expected, caused, required, etc. you to incur but did not repay. The company's illegality in regards to not having licensed personnel is clearly a bad thing and a problem in many ways, but it does not affect your employment contract or give you grounds to terminate it.


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