When you accept a new job, it’s normal to feel optimistic and hopeful for the future. But what happens if the position doesn’t live up to your expectations and you want to quit? While you can quit at any time, there are some situations that can make quitting more difficult than others. One of those situations occurs when you have an employment contract in place. While your Albany business lawyer can help you understand the terms of your contract before you sign, it’s important that you understand why those contracts can be so problematic. Here’s what you need to know.

employment contract

New York Is an At-Will State

Unless you have a clear employment contract in place, you’re free to quit your job whenever you see fit. This is because New York is an at-will employment state. As an at-will state, employees are allowed to quit at any time, for any reason, without giving notice. Similarly, employers are permitted to terminate employment at any time, for any reason, with or without advanced notice. That freedom to end a relationship with an employer gives employees peace of mind and encourages them to take jobs that may not seem like an ideal fit on paper. 

Does that mean New York employers are prohibited from issuing employment contracts? Not at all. 

Contracts May Supersede At-Will Employment

If you accept a position with an employer who requires you to sign an employment contract, the terms of that contract may supersede the standard at-will employment agreements used by most businesses. However, the state does restrict the types of clauses that employers can include in those contracts. For example, employers cannot put in open-ended non-compete clauses, but they can make sure you do not share their confidential materials even after you leave their employment. You’re expected to adhere to the terms of that contract once you sign it. 

How to Break Employment Contracts

Though you’re expected to follow the terms of your employment contract, there may be instances where breaking the contract could be in your best interest. Here’s what you need to do to break your contract.

Read the Terms Carefully

Most employment contracts clearly outline how employees and employers are expected to follow if they want to terminate the relationship. You’ll need to follow those terms in full before you quit if you want to avoid a breach of contract. If you don’t follow those terms, you may be found in breach of contract and your employer may be able to take legal action against you. If those terms are found to be in violation of New York employment law, you may be able to break your contract without issue.

Consult with an Albany Business Lawyer

If you’re worried about quitting your job but aren’t sure if you can because of an employment contract or are about to accept a job with an employment contract, don’t act without help. Schedule a consultation with an experienced Albany business lawyer and let them review your contract. After the review, you’ll know which terms of the contract are allowed under the law and what steps you’ll need to take to terminate your employment agreement without triggering a potentially costly lawsuit.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If you’re ready to quit your job but aren’t sure how based on your employment contract, contact us to schedule an appointment. Sarah Gold has helped business owners and employees alike better understand their rights and she’ll take the time to explain your employment contract to you in detail so you fully understand what you’re signing before you sign.