The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment in a dispute regarding a Texas employment agreement. Lindsey v. DynCorp Int’l, L.L.C., No. 10-20130 (5th Cir. July 20, 2010), available at http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/unpub/10/10-20130.0.wpd.pdf.
Lindsey entered into an at-will employment contract with DynCorp to work in Iraq for eight months. The contract initially provided for an annualized salary of over $100,000; however, after Lindsey began working in Iraq, DynCorp discovered that it had made a mistake and changed the compensation terms to reflect a yearly salary of approximately $50,000. The plaintiff worked until the contract period concluded, returned to Texas, and sued DynCorp. The district court granted summary judgment on Lindsey’s breach of contract claim.
Under Texas law, either party may modify the terms of an at-will employment contract as a condition of continued employment. The party asserting the modifications must prove that (1) the party provided notice of the change and (2) the other party accepted the change. Here, the record reflected that DynCorp unequivocally notified Lindsey of the modification. Lindsey’s continued employment with DynCorp following this notice constituted acceptance of that modification. Therefore, the modification was enforceable, and, because DynCorp paid Lindsey the full amount owed under the modified contract, summary judgment was proper on the breach of contract claim.
To speak to an attorney about a Texas employment contract issue, contact the Dallas employment lawyers at Clouse Dunn Khoshbin LLP at [email protected].
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