Losing or Leaving a Job FAQ

How do I know if I have an employment contract?

When most people think about a contract, they think of a formal written document. And many contracts do look that way. There are other kinds of contracts, however. You and your employer can come to an oral agreement that is never put in writing, and it may still be a valid, enforceable employment contract. And, if your employer has ever promised you something, that may have created a contract as well.

If you fit into the following situations and are fired for questionable reasons, then you might consider talking to an attorney:

  • Your employer, supervisor, or manager promised you that you would only be fired for certain reasons -- for example, if you really messed up in your job or if the company failed.
  • Your employer, manager, or supervisor promised you that you would have a long and secure career at the company.
  • You and your employer, manager, or supervisor agreed orally on the terms or length of your employment.

For more information on employment contracts, see Nolo's article Employment at Will: What Does It Mean?

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