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Being threatened with court and possible sue!!

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by noelg24, May 21, 2007.

  1. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    You know, I didnt think working as a contractor would be such hard work.

    You all remember the job I am in and how unhappy I am at the place?

    Well today (as it my birthday I took the day off as holiday), I went for a job interview at Newcastle College. It involves hardware rollouts, setting up the PCs to network, installing programs and user profiles and also taking helpdesk calls and resolving PC issues. I thought this is it, this is what I have wanted since I lost my other job and I will be getting paid £100 a day so no problem there.

    When I rang the agency regarding the job I am at now, they clearly were not happy and I told them I wasnt going to go in tomorrow. They turned round and said that if I did that a) they can sue me for liability and for breach of contract (cos I have 2 weeks left on it but no way could I be there for another 2 weeks), and b) (this is where I wanted to tell them to f**k off), they said they will ring the college tomorrow morning, explain the fact I am in breach of my contract and that they will get one of their contractors in and I wont be able to have the job. Basically robbing me of my opportunity to do the job I have always wanted.

    At first, I did say I wouldnt mind working the contract but when the college said they wanted me to start asap I said ok I will do it cos I clearly am not enjoying this job I am at now...and I said if you wana get legal with it then lets dance, cos I can certainly shake my body to the beat better than you matey no matter what you throw at me.

    So there you have it...what I want to know is, are they allowed to take legal action and can they stop me from getting the job I want? If you ask me, I was bullied into this job to begin with (which I told them) and there is just no way I can go there again especially with the distance...so please your input will be most appreciated.

    I am going to the other agency tomorrow morning to explain all this (I have sent an email just now outlining the issue) and I will make sure they dont stop me from getting this job cos it means the world to me...
     
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  2. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Did you actually sign a contract for the job you are doing right now?

    Edit: are these jobs being offered by seperate agencies?
     
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  3. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    It all depends on what your contract states. It's very possible that they've got a case. Review the terms of the contract carefully, especially whether you're required to work the full term or under what conditions you would be allowed to legally quit the contract.
     
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  4. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    Yes I signed and faxed it to them, it was all done in a hurry you see...so I didnt have a clear mind of what was going on

    and yes they are being offered by seperate agencies...the one I am at now is the one who wont let me go...and the one at the college is the one I want to be with...

    The contract does state that I cant terminate the agreement, however it does state that they can terminate the contract if I breach the contract or I am unable to perform the obligations stated in the agreement...

    It just seems like I have no way out and never did from the start...had they told me all this in the beginning I would so have said no right away but they always leave it to the last second to threaten to sue you dont they?
     
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  5. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Can you not just work the two weeks and save all the hassle? :biggrin

    I'm sure the college position can wait, 2 weeks is nothing, some people have to work a 3 month notice period before moving to the next job.
     
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  6. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    Trust me mate I would if I could...but I would be really bored and end up throwin meself off the tyne bridge (or the wear bridge in this case as the job is in Sunderland) but the college want me to start asap and I feel if I wait 2 weeks I will miss out again and I dont wana miss out the 2nd time round cos u know what its like in IT...u miss one u wait ages for another...yet i have been very lucky...so I need to grab the opportunity whilst I can and I wont let one agency get me down with courts and stuff like that...its about me at the end of the day and how happy I am...if I aint happy with something I say it and if people dont like it they know where they can shove it...simple as...period...end of. No more questions...
     
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  7. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    I agree with Sparky

    and they DID tell you this in the first place, its on that contract you signed but failed to read!

    Noel mate, i've been there, its not pleasant, but you took a responsibility, and weather or not the agency wants to play dirty with the college, or hold you to your end of the bargin by sueing you, you would be doing the client a disservice to just walk out on them

    you have two more weeks mate, the college should be fine with this, just tell them thats your notice period and thats 'ASAP' as they put it
    work the two weeks, keep everyone happy, and go where you want to go

    if you get stuck with a breach of contract suit it will a) cost you a load of money, b) you will lose, because you would be in breach of contract, c) have an adverse effect on future employment opertunities and agencies! tread carefully and do your time, its not long now mate

    (I've had one of those three month notice periods before, not pretty I can assure you, after 3 weeks they put me on garden leave though hehe)
     
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  8. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Fair enough mate, you might want to phone the agency back that gave you the current job to see if you can come to some agreement. They will be concerned as they are meant to provide candidates that will complete a contract and when someone doesn’t it looks bad for them as they put you forward for the job.

    Also perhaps talk to the agency that is offering you the college job. If you explain what the deal is then they might re-arrange the start date for 2 weeks time. If not then just go for it and just accept whatever the other agency does.

    To be honest I don’t think the first agency will do anything, I think they are just trying to scare you to go back to work and it probably isn’t worth their time making a big deal out of it. In saying that you have breached the contract so be prepared.

    Hope everything works out ok for the best mate! :biggrin

    Edit: Surely 2 weeks is ASAP? :)
     
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  9. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Employers will pull this stunt all the time. There is no way that they would ever action their threat.

    in principle, they are correct - they can potentially sue you for not working a full notice period. in practice, it would be very difficult and expensive for them to pursue in the courts so what usually happens is that they end up giving in.

    Don't expect a good reference from 'em though
     
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  10. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    Ok lets say I work the 2 weeks, and then I am done with that job and the college decide they can no longer take me on cos they have filled the positions, what do I do then? I will have missed out on the one opportunity I had to get the job I wanted purely cos I was bullied into this one in the first place and they just wanted to make up the numbers regardless of what skills I possessed and that in itself is misleading someone who wants to progress further in their life...and this will be the 2nd time I have let this other agency down cos i turned down the uni job and now they dont want me for that one and I know the same will happen with the college one if I say lets hold it off for 2 weeks cos the agency will no longer want to look for jobs for me so I am no better off than I will be if I leave this job now.

    So the way I see it, yeah it is a breach but I have my reasons...I cant take another 2 weeks there or I will go mad and insane I will want to kill someone let alont myself and the journey itself is tiring...I have things to do when I get home and getting home at 7.30pm doesnt help cos I have to keep myself awake to do the things I need to do...and then I dont even get to bed until about 2 or 3am!! and I have to be up again at about 7am to get ready...

    However, I will go see this other agency tomorrow, if they can convince the college to wait 2 weeks then I will go back to the other job and finish the contract and then be shot of them...but if the college turn round and say they cant guarantee they will wait for me...well im sorry I wont be holding back...im going to the college...its about me in the end and not about the agency looking after their sorry a$$es...

    Besides I was told on the phone that they have had people walk out on the job before and there was no mention of legal action taken against them...even one person didnt turn up on the first day and the contract was signed...yet they are throwing it at me...well they can keep throwing and I will keep dodging for as long as I can...
     
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  11. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    Yes I know what you mean...its exactly wot my flatmate said when I told her...and you are right about the reference cos to be honest I wouldnt even consider them cos I can get damn good references from my last two jobs before that...but we will see what happens tomorrow...
     
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  12. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    The only way out of something like this is to involve a solicitor and prove that the terms of your original contract were unfair.

    It does crop up quite a lot, for example many companies will try to prevent you from working for a competitor for X months after you leave them.

    The only way out is to have a legal case that their terms are unnecessarily harsh and prevent you from earning a living.

    However, the fact that you entered into a contract of this nature will count against you.

    It won't be cheap and it won't be easy.

    The fact that your existing agency resorts to these tactics without even trying to sort things out sensibly may be an indication that they may not be the fairest of people, and this could earn you brownie points.

    But it will have to be a legal job, sorry.


    On a personal level, don't turn down a dream just because of a bit of hassle - they may just be trying to scare you.
    Go for it and accept the consequences.

    Where would mankind be otherwise?

    :yep :daz
     
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  13. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    haha - these agencies crack me up sometimes! Noel ask them if they've heard of slander? They'd be wise not to pursue their threat...but in future:

    * don't sign up for something you're not sure of!
    * never tell an agency the truth; instead just phone in sick!
    * as soon as an agency starts talking to you about legal action then SLAM THE PHONE DOWN!

    Take no sh1t!

    Good luck
     
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  14. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Working the additional two weeks and being bored is a lot more preferable than being sued for the cost of getting a replacement for the company and paying for their services... keep in mind that they can hire someone to replace you for whatever they want, and sue you for the cost of the employee. Court costs will hurt you as well. It would definitely be in your best financial interest to tough out the two weeks.

    But hey, if you want to tell them to "stick it", be sure to let us know how that all works out for you. :unsure

    On the other hand, if the college wants you, they'll gladly wait 2 more weeks for you.
     
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  15. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Good point mind...
     
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  16. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    I really can't believe the lack of work ethic some of you are showing

    who cares if they will or wont sue
    who cares who will win

    its not fair the the client, the agency, and you shouldn't of signed the contract if you didnt like the terms

    i hate to be harsh but try and be a little more professional about this and just get on with the two weeks left

    this is the nature of contract employment, but show some work ethic and professionalism and you may find yourself in contracts for 7+ years at contract rates like some of the guys I have worked with
     
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  17. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

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    From a different point of view...

    Yes, the agency are threatening to sue (which they are well within their rights to do as you are in deliberate breach of contract) because you are pulling out of a job that you agreed to do.

    What of the employer? Do you think it a good thing to do to just leave them high and dry? Sometimes we make decisions, choose to agree to do things that we regret, but with me if i say i will do something, sign a contract to say I will give two weeks notice (Once I gave two months notice to a job I hated) I will do everything to keep my word and just learn from my mistakes. If I were a real employer (not agency work) and a potential employee was willing to blow off the notice period with the current employer, I wouldn't want to employ them because I'd worry they's do the same to me.

    I do understand where you are coming from as far as travel is concerned, but you knew the score before you got into things.
     
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  18. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

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    Can't agree more.
     
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  19. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    Well I hope they cos the university certainly didnt...so I dont hold any hopes that the college will do the same...but you never know...right now I would be glad to out of that place...
     
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  20. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I don't want to get into a debate with the man who takes the 'moderate' out of 'moderator'. :biggrin

    Call me cynical.

    I really believe in loyalty to your employer, your contract and to the work ethic.

    However, I've seen once too often that an employer is quite prepared to forget all these things when the tables are turned.

    If you are with an agency and the client cancels the contract, does the agency try to sue the client for breach of contract, or do they just turn to you and say 'sorry, you're out of a job'?
     
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