How to Break a Contract of Employment

A contract of employment, or an employment agreement, is a legally binding document. An employment contract generally contains information, such as the starting date, compensation and the consequences of not meeting its obligations. Breaking a contract early will often result in a lawsuit, which is why it's important to read the document thoroughly. There are certain situations under which you may be able to break a contract without legal consequences.

Analyse your situation. If you were pressured or rushed into signing the contract of employment you may have valid reasons to back out. Employers must give new employees a reasonable amount of time, at least 21 days, to consider the terms of the agreement and even seek legal advice if necessary, according to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Break the contract within seven days after signing it. That's because the ADEA requires that employers allow new employees seven days after signing an agreement to cancel it if the person so desires.

Consider the contract invalid if either party fails to meet the contract's obligations.

Reach a mutual agreement to cancel the agreement. If you can convince the other party to void the contract, both parties can walk away without legal repercussions.

Prove that the contract was executed under false representation. Fraud is another valid reason to break an employment contract.

Only adults of legal age can enter into a contract. If either party is under age, the contract is not binding. Legal age varies depending your state.


Consult an attorney if you're not sure how signing contract may affect you.

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Based in Houston, Ana Jackson has been writing content for leading-industry Web sites since 2006. She specializes in money and personal finance as well as in health and alternative treatment-related topics. Other areas of expertise include crafts and interior decorating.