Is an employee liable for a company contractual obligation?

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Is an employee liable for a company contractual obligation?

I was a manager for a convenience store 5 years ago. While there, I signed a contract to lease out some POS equipment for the store. About a year later, the store went bankrupt. The contract terms for the equipment lease was for 5 years. Since my name is on the contract they are saying that I owe them the remainder of the months left and not the store. They have been sending me collections letters. Am I liable for these charges?

Asked on October 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If it is clear that you signed the contract not in your personal capacity, but only as a representative of the store (e.g. it's the store's name, not yours, on the contract; you signed as manager or for the store; the equipment you leased is clearly for the store and was not for yourself; etc.), then you should not be personally liable for the store's debt or obligation, unless you personally guaranteed it in some way. Therefore, you should check the contract, to see which parties were listed (e.g. were you, and not the store, described as one of the parties to the contract), how you signed it, and also whether there is any clause, paragraph, term, etc. which stated that the signer of the contract was personally guarantying or otherwise personally responsible for the obligation.


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