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3 types of employment contract breach

When getting hired for a job, you enter into an agreement with your employer, typically outlined in an employment contract. This contract establishes the terms and conditions of your employment, including your rights, responsibilities and obligations. 

However, breaches of employment contracts can occur, and they can take various forms. These breaches may include the following.

1. Unlawful termination

If your employer ends your employment in violation of the terms outlined in your employment contract, it constitutes an unlawful termination breach. This breach occurs when an employer fires an employee without proper cause, without providing the required notice or severance pay as agreed in the contract or in violation of anti-discrimination laws. For instance, if the contract specifies a notice period before termination and the employer fails to provide this notice or terminates the employee abruptly without valid grounds, it constitutes a breach.

2. Violation of working hours

Your employment contract typically includes provisions regarding the number of hours you are expected to work per week or month. A breach of this provision occurs when your employer requires you to work beyond the agreed-upon hours without appropriate compensation or fails to provide adequate breaks mandated by law. For example, if your contract specifies a 40-hour workweek and your employer consistently requires you to work overtime without paying the legally required overtime rate, it constitutes a violation of the working hours provision. Similarly, if your contract guarantees lunch or rest breaks but your employer denies you these breaks or pressures you to work through them, it’s considered a breach.

3. Underpayment of wages

Your employer should pay you the agreed-upon wages or salary as outlined in your employment contract. A breach occurs when your employer fails to compensate you fully for the work you have performed, either by paying less than the agreed-upon rate or by withholding wages altogether. Underpayment of wages can take various forms, including failing to pay for overtime hours worked, not providing promised bonuses or commissions or paying below the minimum wage mandated by law.

If your employer breaches your employment contract, seek legal guidance to better understand your options for recourse.



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