I signed an offer of employment but informed potential employer I will not join before the start of employment. Offer letter says after one year of employment I may leave with a notice of three weeks (note I did not join). No mention of what happens if I do not join or what happens if I leave within the first year. Now employer's attorney has sent me a letter threatening to sue for violation of contract.
What should I do?
Can they claim any damages? I am on H1b.
You will ultimately need an attorney to review the contract to advise you. You can be in breach of contract if you agreed to work for them for a set period of time in exchange for agreed salary, benefits etc. The contract may be effective as of the date it was signed depending upon the contract language. Some things to consider for why an employer may have a claim even beyond the breach damages include whether the employer engaged in substantive investment in hiring you for the position. For example (not exhaustive list): whether monetary advance provided, training or license related costs, or moving costs. Other considerations may include employer costs related to potential lost in profit or business by not having the position filled.
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