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I work for an organization that holds a consultation agreement with a company. I work for the organization and directly assist the company. However, I will be the only employee working on the project (who happens to have extensive knowledge of the project, and hiring a new person would be costly). If I were to work directly for the company, it would cut many costs for them.

Currently their consultation agreement has no termination clauses, so from what I understand they can cancel within a reasonable notice. However, if I submitted a two week's notice to resign from the organization I work for, would the company be able to cancel the contract on terms that the organization failed to provide? I know this sounds a little evil, but it is honestly a positive benefit because the organization is taking very unfair advantage of the company.

Thanks!

Edit: additional info, I am the only employee after another major employee of the organization left due to improper management that had some affect on the company.

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This depends on your employment agreement, if any, with the organization, and on the company's contract with the organization.

You can quit your job with the organization, giving whatever notice your contract provides.

The company can end its contract on whatever terms that contract permits. Most service contracts specify a fixed term, with renewal possible or in some cases automatic if notice to end the contract is not given by some specified date before the renewal date. But many other arrangements are possible. If no term is specified in the contract, and there is no provision for how much notice is required, then the company should give "reasonable" notice, which will probably be in line with the norms and customs of the industry involved in the relevant country. The specific law of that country may or may not provide a required minimum notice period.

The contract between the company and the organization might provide that they would not hire any employees or recent ex-employees of the organization without consent for some period, perhaps a year. If there is such a provision it must be complied with unless it is not enforceable under the law of the jurisdiction. Different jurisdictions have very different attitudes toward such contract provisions. If such a provision were violated, and it was enforceable in the jurisdiction, the company would be liable for damages if the organization choose to enforce its contract.

The contract between you and the organization might include a provision that you not leave to become employed (within some time limit) by one of the organization's customers, or perhaps by one you had worked with. If there is such a provision, it might or might not be enforceable in your jurisdiction. If it is enforceable, you must comply or be liable for damages.

Even if there are no contract provisions preventing such employment of you by the company, you must not without permission take with you and use for the company's benefit any confidential information that is the property of the organization and is not already known to the company through legitimate means. If you do, both you and the company might be liable for damages under trade secret law.

In the absence of any enforceable contractual provisions, and if no confidential information is taken by you, there should be no legal problems. The moral issues I am in no position to offer an opinion on, and are off-topic here anyway.

If you were to quit, and the company were to then seek to break its contract because, in your absence the organization could not provide proper service, and you were then to accept employment with they company, and if further the company had known of your plans, both you and the company might be liable for damages to the organization, depending non the details of the law in your jurisdiction. This could be a tort of "interference with a contractual relation" or something of the sort. You should be very careful in agreeing to any such procedure.

If there is a question as to whether a provision of a contract between the organization and either you or the company in enforceable, or whether a provision prohibits you leaving the organization to be employed by the company, that would need to be addressed by a lawyer who knows this area of the law in your jurisdiction, and the specifics of the contract, or eventually by a court. It is out of scope for this forum.

Nothing in this situation will be a problem if the organization agrees to whatever is done. All possible problems occur only if it does not agree, and claims to have a legal right to prevent it or seek damages.

  • Thank you David! Based on your advice, it looks like I better not even really ask to begin with, despite not being on contract myself. However I may let the company know that I would be willing to work with them directly if they would be willing to negotiate the contract with the organization, given the organization generally has us gain experience with these companies to be hired in the future. – OrbDeceptionist Apr 14 at 4:25
  • @OrbDeceptionist: you are right that not asking is legally sensible; the organization might allege conspiracy if you did, whereas if not you can quit on whatever terms your contract allows, wait to see what the company and the organization do, and then (assuming there is no relevant non-compete clause) ask the company for a job. The risk, of course, is that they turn you down to avoid possible legal problems; but you yourself will not be sued. – Tim Lymington supports Monica Apr 14 at 11:14

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