What is your potential liability if your employer sues you for quitting prior to 90 day notice?

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What is your potential liability if your employer sues you for quitting prior to 90 day notice?

I am an associate dentist with a large partnership. My employment contract

dictates that I must give 90 days notice prior to leaving the company. In addition, I am paid based on a percentage of what the company collects

based on my patient billings of which even after my last day of employment, I

forfeit to the company. I recently came onto a great opportunity to leave the company amd purchase a private practice. I gave 2 weeks notice to my company, as the seller of the practice has to close the deal and move out of the country within 2 weeks. The CMO of the company threatened to sue me for not giving proper 90 day notice. What financial recourse could happen if the company successfully sues me for breaching the contract?

Asked on August 13, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When you breach a contract, the other party can sue you for either:
1) The "damages" (often called "liquidated damages") set forth in the contract, if any--if the contract you signed specifies that you must pay a set amount in the event of breach, such a provision is generally enforceable and would determine what you have to pay.
2) If there is no such provision specifying what you'd have to pay, they can sue you for the cost or losses they can demonstrate your violation cost them. For example, say that to  cover the appointments you'd have, patients you'd see, etc. for the 10 weeks you should have given notice but did not, they have to hire some dentist to cover for you at a cost of $2,000/week, they could potentially sue for $20,000 (10 weeks x $2,000/week), offset by any savings (e.g. not paying out your percentate of billings) you could show they received. Or if they have to cancel, say, 5 appointments/week for 10 weeks due to lack of coverage, they could sue for that lost profit.
3) If the contract lets them get legal fees if they have to sue you, they could get those, too.


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