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WA Breach of Contract - Is Dance Group Contract Still Enforceable?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Joy Ryder, 3 October 2015.

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  1. Joy Ryder

    Joy Ryder Member

    3 October 2015
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    Hi. I recently joined a dance group, and we all signed contracts from December to December, even though we started in August. We were assured this would only bind us to December. The contract stated we would dance exclusively for this company, pay $16 per week for training, provide our own costumes, make ourselves available for fundraising and company events, and our consideration would be use of the gym attached (not yet opened at start of contract, not actually containing a shower once completed).

    One of the girls left the group after becoming angry at being called lazy on a company wide Facebook post, as she was unable to attend training due to a hospital appointment. The girl who recruited her was subsequently kicked out as well, with no notice of termination, in fact she showed up to training without even being aware that everyone else believed she had left of her own accord.

    Another girl has expressed interest in doing a trial class at another dance studio, and now she is being kicked out as well, despite not having attended any classes yet. They are all being asked to pay the full 12 months worth of contract charges. No contract copy has ever been provided to any of us.

    Is this contract enforceable? Given that it has been drawn up as an employment contract, it seems that terminating the girls without a significant breach of contract is not right, and that expecting them to pay out a contract as if it is a gym contract is not appropriate under these circumstances either.

    They have all offered to pay until December. Is this a reasonable compromise, and would it likely be acceptable if taken to court? Or would it be better to challenge the legality of the contract?
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

    16 April 2014
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    It will depend on what the contract says, however if something is grossly unfair then the law will usually provide a remedy.

    You need to demand a copy of the written contract with your signature and the date you signed it at the bottom. If the dancers that have been terminated had not breached any major term of the contract then they may be able to argue that the studio has repudiated the contract.

    And yes if it was actually an employment contract - which it doesn't sound much like - then yes there may be an argument along the lines of unfair dismissal
  3. Serge Gorval

    Serge Gorval Well-Known Member

    2 November 2015
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    No, you cannot enforce a contract of employment for specific performance ( slavery)

    It also sounds like your employer made unauthorised deductions ( training) from you.

    I would be challenging this contract as being completely unreasonable from what you described.

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