An employment contract is a legal document between you and your employer. It specifies what the employer expects from you and vice versa. Some employment contracts have an “at-will” clause, indicating that you and the employer both reserve the right to terminate the contract at any time for any reason without liability. Other employment contracts obligate you to work for the employer for a specified period of time. It is important to cancel your contract the right way to avoid possible legal ramifications.
Read through the employment contract to determine if it is an “at-will” document. If it is an at-will contract, determine whether advance notice of resignation is requested. If so, honor the requirements. Failure to do so can come back to haunt you, especially if you ever have to cross paths with the employer again or need him as a reference.
Determine the contract expiration date if it is not an at-will contract. This date should be listed on the contract. By waiting until the contract expiration date to cancel the contract, you meet the obligations to which you initially agreed. If you intend to cancel your contract before the expiration date, read through the contract to determine if there are penalties for bailing out early.
Create a written document expressing your intentions to cancel the employment contract. In the document, thank the employer for allowing you to serve his needs. Express that you no longer wish to continue the contract. If you like, mention your reason for canceling the contract.
Sign and date the written cancellation notice. Make a copy of the document to keep for your own records.
Submit the written cancellation notice to your employer at least 30 days before the contract expires. Depending upon your contract, you may be required to submit notification more than 30 days in advance. By giving advance notice, you give the employer enough time to find a replacement.