Breaking a contract - consequences?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by kassrose, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. kassrose

    kassrose Companion

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    Jun 9, 2010

    To make a long story short, Ive been offerres a contract that's less than ideal for multiple reasons. I feel like I need to accept however, given the economy. I have to accept by tomorrow. I have numerous other jobs in the works that I would prefer (waiting to hear back, interviews scheduled, etc). If I end up getting one of those jobs in the next couple of weeks, what are the consequences of backing out of a contract with the first school? Does it depend on the contract? Is it illegal? I live in AZ, if that matters, and this is a charter school, not a district.

    Also, I do see the moral ramifications of my choices, but let's face it, in this economy we all have to do what we can to get by.
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 10, 2010

    See if your contract with the charter school will be an at will contract. If it is, you can quit for any reason. Also, check and see if there is anything in writing about quitting the job. The contract may state that they will suspend your license if you quit, or it may not address that issue. If that issue is not addressed anywhere, and you find something really soon that would be a better fit, you then have to decide what is more important to you...your word to the first school, or some more money. Only you can make that decision.
     
  4. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Most charter school situations are pretty much "every man for himself." They aren't bound by typical, state-associated rules.

    And you're right, the climate today means you have to look out for your own best interests first and foremost.
     
  5. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    If it's a charter school, it is more likely that they are the ones having a hard time finding people.


    If the contract is not at "work at will" contract, I'd tell them you don't take such decisions lightly and need more time to think about the offer. (By yourself a couple of weeks for others opportunities to pan out.)
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    My word is my word.

    The economic climate doesn't enter into it.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I would tell them that I had to think about it, and not sign anything yet.

    I know several people who have gotten out of contracts, and there were no problems. Typically they had to move due to a spouse getting transferred, but twice they just got job offers closer to home and wanted to leave. The principals understood in each case.

    Personally, I wouldn't sign a contract with a school where I wouldn't be willing to work.
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I always think about what the thoughts would be if the situation were reversed. How would you feel if you were offered a positon and accepted it, only to get a call a few days or weeks down the road from the school saying that someone better had come along and so they were not going to honour their commitment to you and you didn't have a job? I believe, as other do, that you need to accept a job in good faith and follow through with your commitment.
     
  9. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Having been a consulting engineer for 15 years and been involved in both sides of the hiring, I have a question for you.



    What do you think their thoughts and motivations were in giving the OP a very short time frame to make a decision?


    I am hearing a human resources department that is desperate to fill the position and wants to pressure the applicant to sign before she gets another job offer. Nothing about this is right or in good faith.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Muttling, in another economic climate, I might buy that.

    But with all the teachers unemployed, I'm not sure it's valid. I think they just want the job filled ASAP so the search doesn't drag on for the summer.

    Also, kassrose doesn't mention how long she's had the offer.
     
  11. kassrose

    kassrose Companion

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    Jun 10, 2010

    I was given the offer yesterday and expected to accept by today. The reason there was such a short turnaround is because they wanted me to attend a training that was only going to be offered this weekend. I told them that I needed a few days to think about it, and they were disappointed about me missing the training but I just need to make sure it's right.

    Thanks for everyone's input.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I don't feel that anyone should accept a job offer they aren't sure that they want because they feel pressured, particularly if they aren't sure the job is right for them. It's my feeling that once I accept a job, I have an obligation to follow through and that my search has ended.
     
  13. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    What is it with charter schools pressuring you to make a decision so fast? Last year, I got called on a Monday to come in on a Tuesday for an "interview," where I was offered the job and expected to make my decision by 4pm that afternoon!

    Like many others have mentioned, it was an at-will work agreement, so I could have left at any time, had my ACP permitted me to do so. I WISH it had allowed me to quit and move on to greener pastures.
     
  14. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    They have a reputation (often well deserved) for being a very difficult working environment and have a hard time recruiting teachers as a result.

    They want to take advantage of people's honesty and desire to not back out on a contract by pressuring them into signing it before a better job offer comes along. (Much like the car salesman wants you to buy now instead of talking to another dealership.)

    They just see it as trying to meet their needs. I see it as a direct reflection of their management culture. It tells me that employee needs will be an after thought if they're given serious consideration at all.

    Please note, this pattern isn't unique to teaching.
     
  15. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    what?! Is there someone higher up you can go to? Can they really do that?
     
  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    That happened in my public school district. The husband and wife lived six hours apart for five months.
     
  17. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Can you record your future conversations? Might be considered harassment the way she was yelling at you - if they do take this to court.
     
  18. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    You have tell the person you are recording them. Other wise you might be in legal trouble.
     
  19. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    That's state-specific. Most states require only one party to consent to the recording. Arizona is a one-party consent state.
    http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/recording-phone-calls-and-conversations

    However, a yelling boss doesn't meet the legal definition of harassment. It's sure unprofessional though!
     
  20. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Well based on this administrator's behavior, it doesn't seem like you would want to work there anyway! Yikes!
     

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