Is a clause in employment contract valid that specifies a minimum contract term of 1 year?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is a clause in employment contract valid that specifies a minimum contract term of 1 year?

As a lead teacher in a preschool, my employment contract has the following clause In the event that the teacher terminates his/her employment before this agreement expires 1 year then the School may bring a breach of contract action for reasonable damages against the teacher. The contract specifies exact dates Sept 2017 – Aug 2018, and also has a mandatory arbitration clause.

Asked on August 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

One of the essential terms of a contract is the time for performance.  Therefore, the one year term is valid.
Damages for breach of contract would include the cost of obtaining a replacement teacher, the cost of having substitute teachers until a permanent teacher is hired, the disruption to the school if other teachers have to cover for the teacher who resigned during the school year and additional pay for the teachers covering the class, attorney's fees for the breach of contract case.

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