Can my former employer threaten to drop my spouse’s contract if I refuse to come back to train my replacement?

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2011

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Can my former employer threaten to drop my spouse’s contract if I refuse to come back to train my replacement?

My spouse has a service contract with my former employer. In a recent e-mail, my former employer threatened to drop my spouse’s contract if I did not come back in to train my replacement. I fulfilled my 2 weeks notice and it has been several months since I worked for this employer.

Asked on January 10, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Montana


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it can.  Unless such action violates a breach of your spouse's employment contract (or any applicable union agreement or internal company policy).  The fact is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at will".  So an employee can choose to work for an employer or not.  However, this also means that an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason, a bad reason, or even no reason at all.   

Bottom line - While you cannot be forced to go back to train your replacement, your spouse may just pay the price if you don't.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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