St Louis, MO asked in Employment Law for Missouri

Q: Does an email confirmation of terms of employment constitute a contract?

Went to a small firm looking for freelance work, Was hired as a Marketing VP by the owner of the small firm. I requested a written confirmation of the offer via email that included a review at 3 months. This was sent by VP of Finance. Two months later, owner said the terms of employment were changed from full time to contractual assignment. Does this constitute a breach of contract?

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1 Lawyer Answer

Neal J. Wallace

Answered
  • Edwardsville, IL
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: You should have the actual language reviewed by an attorney. Most employment is "employment at will" even if there are certain terms agreed upon. In an employment at will situation, either you can quit and the employer can fire you at any time for any reason except for a short list of illegal reasons (discrimination on basis of age, gender, race..., etc). If there is an employee handbook, there might be an implied contract. If the terms you reference limit the company's ability to fire you or provide for a certain term of employment, you may have an actual contract. If there is a contract, there is in every contract, whether explicitly stated or not, the implied requirement of good faith and fair dealing. An attorney would need more information to make a determination as to whether any of these situations apply - what were the terms listed? did they specify a contractual period of employment? etc. The other thing to consider is what are your goals - are you trying to get money damages from the company? Are you wanting to force them to hire you full time?

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