In the world of business, the fine print can reign supreme. When you start your job and possibly intermittently throughout your career, you’ll be asked to sign contracts. These agreements will bind you and your employer to certain terms, and as each side does its part, the mutually beneficial relationship will continue.
That being said, whether it’s out of a zealous adherence to a bottom line, a case of discrimination, or otherwise, you may begin to get a sense that your boss doesn’t intend to hold up their side of the deal. They might even say it outright, assuming that your desire to keep your job will also keep you from speaking out against them now or when the breach occurs. Two key categories define a breach of contract: actual and anticipatory. Here is a look at what they both mean.
Two key categories of contracts
First, we are only talking about two categories in this blog, but just as a contract can feature many dimensions, so too can the breach itself. This can include the scope of a contract, the materials specified in the fine print, etcetera. Contracts can be difficult to parse through, which makes breaches of contract overwhelming.
Anticipatory breach: If you relate to the headline of this blog, an anticipatory breach may be at play. Let’s say there’s a deadline looming. Each day it gets closer, you become more and more certain that the service and/or goods your boss owes you simply won’t arrive. There could be bona fide evidence to show that what they’re expected to do simply won’t be possible. It just has not happened yet. Now marks a great time to comb through the contract and go over the terms with someone who can be of assistance in making sense and providing a defense for those who have been putting in the work to benefit their employer.
Actual breach: The name says it all. Maybe you had the time to spot the breach before it occurred, a la an anticipatory breach. Maybe you assumed good faith actions with your boss, and now there’s a deposit missing. There’s an actual “smoking gun,” so to speak. This can be especially alarming when the breaking of the contract leads you to be in dire financial straits.
Now while many employees may be asked to sign a contract, it can be commonplace to accept the good faith and promises made by an employer and simply sign on the dotted line. What’s more, looking through the fine print can raise questions. This is precisely why it can be so important to reach out to an experienced legal advocate who is familiar with employment contracts.