10 Reasons for Contract Disputes With Employers - Bantle & Levy LLP



10 Reasons for Contract Disputes With Employers

Contract disputes can happen for a myriad of reasons. Contracts on their own are long, detailed, complicated, and filled with many clauses for you to sign if they are written correctly. This is especially true when you’re signing employment contracts with your employer. For example, if you work based on an hourly wage and you’re asked to work overtime, you expect to be paid that overtime. If they try to pay you like a salaried employee despite your contract not clearly specifying that, this violates your contract. If you file against them, it becomes a contract dispute that often requires legal intervention to resolve.

In another example, an employee might be wrongfully terminated without just cause. If your employment contract promises that you will only be terminated for certain reasons and in a certain manner, and then they don’t follow that, it doesn’t matter that you are an at-will employee. This is still breaking your contract. You may not be able to win a wrongful termination suit without great difficulty because you live in an at-will state. But you can file and engage in a contract dispute for damages. Your argument might be much stronger in the latter case than the former.

If you’re unsure of whether or not your employment contract or anything similar has been violated, contact the employee rights attorneys at Bantle & Levy. We’ll review your contract and your situation. Then we can discuss your options for filing for a contract dispute and the damages you can receive based on how it was violated.

What are Contract Disputes?

A contract dispute between an employee and their employer refers to disagreements or conflicts that arise regarding the terms, conditions, and/or execution of the employment contract, or other contracts signed between the employee and employer. This contract outlines the rights, responsibilities, and duties of both the employer and the employee.

These contracts can include multiple different clauses and promises that both employees must abide by. Understand that if the contract has an illegal clause, it will be null and void, so consult with our attorney before filing a lawsuit for more information about your situation.

Why You Might Get Into a Contract Dispute

There are several reasons why you may file against your employer, or your employer may file against you in a contract dispute. Remember, you also signed a contract and have clauses you must follow. If you break one of the clauses you signed, you can also be held liable in a contract dispute between you and your employer.

  1. Misinterpretation of Contract Terms: Contracts are written to benefit the employer as much as possible. They will use text to confuse and manipulate you, but you can defend against this. When the language in a contract can be unclear, leading to different interpretations, an attorney can help.
  2. Unfair Contract Terms: If you feel that certain terms in one of your employment contracts are unfair or heavily favor the employer, you may contest these conditions so they can be changed. If these terms are a part of your original contract rather than a change some time into your employment, your employer may deny you employment.
  3. Non-Compete Clauses: Employers understandably don’t want their employees leaving and joining their competitors, but they only have so much power to stop this. If the non-compete clause in your contract expects too much, you can fight claims that you violated it when you found a new position.
  4. Discrimination or Harassment: If you are being discriminated against or harassed at work, your employer is legally required to do something about it. If they don’t, this is in violation of your contract.
  5. Wrongful Termination: Depending on the wording in your contract, you may be able to get around working in an at-will state. You can sue for wrongful termination if you believe you were wrongly terminated. Though, if you have a clause in your contract that specifies a specific procedure for firing you – one they didn’t follow – you can file because they’re breaking the contract.
  6. Changes to Employment Conditions: If an employer significantly alters the conditions of employment (such as hours, job responsibilities, or location) without the employee’s consent, this could be grounds for a contract dispute.
  7. Disputes Over Confidentiality or Intellectual Property: Many businesses have information that they do not want to be shared with outside entities. If you share this information with anyone you’re not allowed to, you’ve broken the confidentiality clause. This does work both ways though. Your employer cannot reveal your personal information without your permission. If they do in any way other than to law enforcement, you can file a suit against them in turn.
  8. Overtime Pay and Working Hours: If you are paid an hourly wage and you were promised an overtime rate beyond what is legally mandated, or you were promised overtime pay on top of your salary, you are owed that overtime pay. You can file for a contract dispute if your employer doesn’t pay you correctly or doesn’t at all.
  9. Retaliation: If you feel you have been penalized for filing a complaint or utilizing protected rights, or punished in any way due to legal behavior, your employer has retaliated against you. This is an unspoken clause in your employment contract that your employer has to abide by.
  10. Unsafe Working Conditions: Your employer has to provide a safe working environment within reason. What’s considered reasonable depends on your industry. If your working conditions are unsafe or unhealthy, even by your industry’s standards and the employer doesn’t rectify this, it could lead to a contract dispute.

Contact the Employee Rights Attorneys at Bantle & Levy for Help

If you believe your employer is violating your employment contract or accusing you of violating it, you need an attorney. We can review your contract and help you figure out your best course of action. This can be to plan a defense or file a lawsuit depending on your situation. You don’t deserve to be pushed around or manipulated. Contact the employee rights attorneys at Bantle & Levy.

Bantle & Levy
Bantle & Levy

Lee Bantle is a partner at Bantle & Levy LLP. He has extensive legal expertise, admitted to the bars of the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals. With a distinguished academic background and clerkship experience, he has been recognized as a top-rated civil rights attorney and esteemed lawyer. In addition to his successful career, he has actively contributed to various legal organizations and serves as a faculty member for NYU's Annual Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges.


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