Contracts are a vital part of business. When an agreement is made, putting
it into writing via a contract makes it legally enforceable and protects
both parties involved should the other decide not to fulfill their obligations.
But what happens when one party decides they don’t want to adhere
to the terms of the deal anymore, no matter what their reasoning? Legally,
it is said that the contract has been “breached,” or “broken,”
and therefore the non-breaching party then has legal grounds to hold the
other party responsible. Here’s what to expect if an employment
contract is breached.
Four Types of Breaches
To learn about what happens when a contract is broken, it’s important
to know the four different ways in which you can break a contract. Not
all breaches are created equal, and
how a contract is breached will influence what happens after as much as what
happened because of the breach.
Material breaches are arguably the most serious form of a contract breach,
and refer to when one party fails to perform the duties as they are set
in the contract. In these instances, the person who has been victimized
by the breach of contract could potentially hold the other party liable
A fundamental breach allows you to stop the performance of a contract
as it currently exists because one party failed to follow the terms of
the deal. For example, if a business signs an agreement to be an exclusive
distributor of a product and then receives their first shipment only to
realize that their competition signed the same deal the day after, they
could then hold the manufacturer liable for a fundamental breach of contract.
When it becomes evident that one party will not be able to fully adhere
to the terms of their contract, the other party may breach it in anticipation
of the preliminary breach. For example, if you retain an independent contractor
to build you a website by a certain day and they haven’t even started
the project the day before, you can anticipate the job will not be done in time.
These breaches don’t usually end up in court because they’re
often resolved quickly as they’re just minor strays from contract
terms. To use the previous example, say the website is done on time, but
lacks quality and has numerous errors, you could potentially use your
contract to hold the developer responsible and force them to make the
In each of these cases, when a contract is breached, the victim of the
breach could hold the other party responsible and liable for damages.
These damages include coverage for losses, possibly even including punitive
damages, and even attorney fees as a result of misconduct.
Have you been harmed by a breach of contract perpetrated by your employer?
Let an Atlanta employment lawyer help you hold them responsible!
Call Buckley Beal, LLP today at (404) 471-3725 for a case evaluation!