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Old 01-07-2010, 06:50 AM
 
4,845 posts, read 9,698,194 times
Reputation: 3323
Default Can I quit a contract job before the contract expires?

I accepted a 6-month contract position with a company (company A) back in October to perform a service for another company (company B). Since that time, company B has decided to close down and lay off all of its staff sometime in the next few months. We haven't been told when.

I would like to start looking for a new job, and if something good comes along, quit my current job to take the new job. However, I've never quit a contract job before and am unsure if the 6 month contract that I signed makes any difference. The contract that I signed states:

"If the Contractor defaults or fails or neglects to carry out the work in accordance with this Agreement or fails to perform any provision of this Agreement, the Company may provide written notice of such failure to the Contractor. After such notification, and without prejudice to any other remedy it may have, Company may:

• make good such deficiencies and deduct the cost thereof from any payment then or thereafter due the Contractor; or,
• at its option, and in its sole discretion, stop payment if there is no work for the contractor."


So it just sounds like they could withhold my last paycheck or something, but that's it. Am I right? If it matters, I live in North Carolina.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
32,903 posts, read 26,401,403 times
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Check first. Looks to me like Company A can tie you up without paying you. Get a lawyer before doing anything.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:39 AM
 
4,845 posts, read 9,698,194 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
Looks to me like Company A can tie you up without paying you.
Tie me up? Could you be more specific please? I know that you don't mean that literally (get a rope!), but do you mean that Company A could somehow prevent me from working for a new company until my contract ends?
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:38 AM
YAZ
 
Location: Phoenix,AZ
6,072 posts, read 6,042,271 times
Reputation: 4189
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewUser View Post
Tie me up? Could you be more specific please? I know that you don't mean that literally (get a rope!), but do you mean that Company A could somehow prevent me from working for a new company until my contract ends?
Only if you signed a non-compete clause. Basically, you wouldn't be able to do the same work for a competitor for a specified amount of time.

Generally, if you do the work, you get paid. Employers have strict guidelines dealing with pay and how long you have to wait for the last check. They can keep your paycheck in some cases such as:

Not returning company property (lap tops, vehicles, cell phones, etc.)



Check NC laws.
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:04 PM
 
4,845 posts, read 9,698,194 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YAZ View Post
Only if you signed a non-compete clause. Basically, you wouldn't be able to do the same work for a competitor for a specified amount of time.

Generally, if you do the work, you get paid. Employers have strict guidelines dealing with pay and how long you have to wait for the last check. They can keep your paycheck in some cases such as:

Not returning company property (lap tops, vehicles, cell phones, etc.)



Check NC laws.
I did not sign a non-compete clause. I was not issued a laptop, vehicle, cell phone etc from Company A.

What state agency would be able to answer a question like this?
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:48 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
3,814 posts, read 7,646,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewUser View Post
I accepted a 6-month contract position with a company (company A) back in October to perform a service for another company (company B). Since that time, company B has decided to close down and lay off all of its staff sometime in the next few months. We haven't been told when.

I would like to start looking for a new job, and if something good comes along, quit my current job to take the new job. However, I've never quit a contract job before and am unsure if the 6 month contract that I signed makes any difference. The contract that I signed states:

"If the Contractor defaults or fails or neglects to carry out the work in accordance with this Agreement or fails to perform any provision of this Agreement, the Company may provide written notice of such failure to the Contractor. After such notification, and without prejudice to any other remedy it may have, Company may:

• make good such deficiencies and deduct the cost thereof from any payment then or thereafter due the Contractor; or,
• at its option, and in its sole discretion, stop payment if there is no work for the contractor."


So it just sounds like they could withhold my last paycheck or something, but that's it. Am I right? If it matters, I live in North Carolina.
This is an issue of contract law.

You quote from the contract what Company A can do if you default on the contract. But you do not say what guarantees that Company A made you in the contract.

For example, did they guarantee a certain minimum number of paid days over the six-month term of the contract -- or a minimum payment to you if they default? What happens if Company B goes out of business before your contract is up, or if they no longer need you before your contract is up? Does Company A give you a default payment for early termination of the contract ("buy you out") -- or do they provide you with similar employment with another company?

You need to go over the contract again -- and speak to an attorney about your responsibilities under the contract before you take any action with Company B or Company A.
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:33 AM
 
4,845 posts, read 9,698,194 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diorgirl View Post
For example, did they guarantee a certain minimum number of paid days over the six-month term of the contract -- or a minimum payment to you if they default?
No

Quote:
Originally Posted by diorgirl View Post
What happens if Company B goes out of business before your contract is up, or if they no longer need you before your contract is up?
The contract does state: "Company" = company A. "principal" = company B.

This Agreement is contingent upon the continuation of the Company’s contract with its principal. If Company’s contract with its principal is terminated, this Agreement may be terminated upon seven (7) days written notice to Contractor

Quote:
Originally Posted by diorgirl View Post
Does Company A give you a default payment for early termination of the contract ("buy you out") -- or do they provide you with similar employment with another company?
Neither is addressed.

But these points you address don't seem to have any relevance to what happens if I quit. Not sure I see where you are going with this.
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:45 AM
YAZ
 
Location: Phoenix,AZ
6,072 posts, read 6,042,271 times
Reputation: 4189
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewUser View Post
I did not sign a non-compete clause. I was not issued a laptop, vehicle, cell phone etc from Company A.

What state agency would be able to answer a question like this?
Here ya go.....


Site Contents

Click on "site map" then go to "L" for "Labor law."

You are free to go now......
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:48 AM
YAZ
 
Location: Phoenix,AZ
6,072 posts, read 6,042,271 times
Reputation: 4189
Quote:
Originally Posted by diorgirl View Post
This is an issue of contract law.

You quote from the contract what Company A can do if you default on the contract. But you do not say what guarantees that Company A made you in the contract.

For example, did they guarantee a certain minimum number of paid days over the six-month term of the contract -- or a minimum payment to you if they default? What happens if Company B goes out of business before your contract is up, or if they no longer need you before your contract is up? Does Company A give you a default payment for early termination of the contract ("buy you out") -- or do they provide you with similar employment with another company?

You need to go over the contract again -- and speak to an attorney about your responsibilities under the contract before you take any action with Company B or Company A.
New User is employed by the company that has a contract with another company. Therefore, NewUser can leave anytime without being nailed.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:33 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
3,814 posts, read 7,646,942 times
Reputation: 906
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewUser View Post
But these points you address don't seem to have any relevance to what happens if I quit. Not sure I see where you are going with this.
"Where I was going" was that Company A may have an obligation to you if Company B closes down before your contract is up. So there may be something to gain by sticking it out -- either with Company A itself or with an opportunity with a different company through Company A, say Company C or D -- rather than jumping ship too early.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YAZ View Post
New User is employed by the company that has a contract with another company. Therefore, NewUser can leave anytime without being nailed.
I understand. The issue I was raising was not that the OP would be "nailed" for leaving.

I was suggesting that -- in this economy -- the OP may want to try to maintain the relationship with Company A to be hired for another assignment. So there might be a better way -- something that might be mentioned in his contract -- to extract himself from Company B other than by just quitting.
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