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Your employee claimed a contract breach; what now?

It's a question that you would surely prefer not to ask. But unfortunately, as an employer in Pittsburgh, it's a reality of the work environment. At some point, you might have to deal with an employee that has claimed you have breached a contract, and you will need to have a plan in place to handle these accusations.

The American Bar Association states that there are six basic ways to analyze a contract, which can then determine whether or not a breach actually occured. This starts all the way at the basics by determining if a contract even existed in the first place and, if so, if there was an attached duty of performance. The terms of the contract should also be known and examined. Defenses to the enforcement of the contract will also be looked at, and at that point, it will finally be determined if a breach actually occured. Only after passing the other questions and examinations will a potential settlement for the contract breach be discussed. Even so, false claims of contract breaches are often discovered quickly.

However, you should also note that while you may not intend items in an employee handbook to be taken as promises or contracts, it can be potentially interpreted that way in court. There are often cases in which an employee reads something in the handbook and feels as though a contract has been breached should you fail to meet the expectations set there.

Handling a situation in which a contract breach has been claimed might be tricky. This is why it's important to tackle this scenario properly, as it cuts down on confusion and the chance of your words being misinterpreted.

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Kisner Law Firm, LLC
Gulf Tower
707 Grant St., Suite 2646
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
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Phone: 412-208-4263
Fax: 412-235-6704

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