The pandemic has undoubtedly caused many people stress and is forcing them to quit their jobs to prioritize their mental health, child care, elder care or other issues. Most people that quit do not have to deal with unexpected consequences, but for some leaving their jobs without proper notice to the employer may be in violation of their written employment contract.
Currently Illinois is an “at-will employment” state which means that employers have the right to terminate an employee for no-cause and employees are free to leave at any time. However, written employment contracts still exist and are enforced in courts of law so long as they are not procedurally and substantively oppressive. For example, requiring an employee to pay large sums of money for ending an employment contract early could be seen as one-sided and oppressive.
If you are currently considering either signing or ending your employment contract here are things to consider:
- Penalties for ending the contract early
- Time off and sick pay
- Duration of employment (start and end dates)
- Termination (leaving the job with and without cause)
- Policies and restrictive causes
The general rule is that the employers can recover lost profits they would have gained had the employee fulfilled their contractual obligations. Lost profits can be recovered if the profits were reasonably contemplated by both parties at the time the contract was entered into.
Before you sign the employment contract read the fine print carefully. Employment contracts are filled with legal jargon that can be confusing and sometimes misleading. Injustice can happen in many different forms and the best defense is knowing your legal rights. If you have any questions regarding your employment contract or any other specific workplace rights, please contact Milena Crevar at McKenna Storer.