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What could happen if I breach an employment contract?

Lowell, MA |

My contract says I have to give four weeks notice before leaving, but I've been offered a great job I have to start in one week. Can my previous employer do anything to me?


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Attorney answers 4


An employment lawyer would need to analyze the contract that you siged to give you a careful evaluation. However, I can share that MA is an "at will" employment state, which means that both the employer and employee are free to end the employment relationship at any time. Good luck.


It depends on your contract, but the least your present employer could do is give you a bad reference or no reference. I would advise that you have a heart to heart talk with your boss and see if you can leave on good terms.

Gary S. Sinclair is an attorney licensed to practice in Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law or a simple reading of the law in your jurisdiction. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to your question. The information provided should NOT be relied upon for making legal decisions. You will be best served by hiring an attorney in your area who specializes in the field of law pertinent to your question.


At minimum you would be liable for breach of contract.

Attorney Lauren Craig Redmond ~ 617.953.6116 ~ No attorney/client relationship is established or implied by any email or phone conversation.


Contracts are entirely fact-specific. As a result, there is rarely a general answer to any contract question.

Here, for example, some of the possible responses include "the contract is unenforceable, so you can leave if you want," to "you'll be in breach, but it's unlikely you'll be sued," to "you will be liable for significant damages if you leave without proper notice."

You need to take your contract to an employment attorney ASAP.

Do you want accurate, personalized, legal advice that you can rely on? You will have to hire an attorney, not ask on Avvo. I am not your attorney and am not creating an attorney-client relationship by this post. I am therefore giving only general advice. This advice may not apply to you or your situation; may not take account of all possibilities, and may not match the advice I would give to a client. DO NOT rely on this advice or any other advice on Avvo to make your legal decisions. If you want an answer to a legal question you should retain an attorney who is licensed in your state.