You’ve spent the last 15 years working for a major financial institution. You’ve learned an incredible amount on the job, far beyond what you learned in school, but you’ve grown tired of working for another corporation. You want to leave and open your own office.
That sounds simple enough, but you did sign a contract with your current employer. Can you still choose to leave even though you did so, or would that violate your contract and set up potential legal ramifications that could sink your new office before you even open your doors?
Did your contract come with a timeframe or a notice regulation?
It all depends on the specifics of your contract. These matters are usually handled in one of two ways. First, the contract might have a set timeframe that you agreed to, such as working for the company for the next three years. You need to abide by it or risk breaching the contract.
Secondly, the contract may simply say that you need to provide advance notice if you are going to leave. For at-will employees, though there is no legal requirement, it’s common for them to provide a two-weeks’ notice. Your contract may state that you need to give six months or a year, for instance, and you need to follow those regulations.
Naturally, you can always approach your employer and ask if they’ll cancel the contract early. They may do so, but the fact that you’re going to become the competition may deter them.
Is it time to seek a little legal guidance on your business issues?
No matter what you do, it’s very important to do everything legally when starting your own office, and it can help to work with an experienced law firm to avoid any mistakes, pitfalls or oversights.