Lack of contractual enforcement forces WNBA star to resign


When New Jersey residents sign contracts, they usually expect that the other party will hold up their end of the agreement. Unfortunately, this was not the case for Lindsay Whalen, a basketball player in the Women's National Basketball Association. A lack of contractual enforcement caused her to leave her team in Turkey.

During the spring and summer, Whalen plays for the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx. During the offseason -- in the winter months -- she played for Turkey's Galatasaray team. Many basketball players play overseas in the offseason because the salaries are often quite large.

However, it does not matter how much money Whalen was promised in the contract. She quit the Turkish team after claiming the organization did not pay her for two months. It is unknown if she will join another team or simply take some time off before the Lynx begin spring training in May.

An employment contract often includes many elements. Most include the employee's name, start date, salary and payment schedule. If benefits are available, the contract will often outline them as well. If the employer has any limitations or exclusions, they should also be included. For example, many employers require that the employee do not work for anyone else while employed under the contract.

In any employment situation, it is not acceptable to refuse payment to an employee, especially if he or she has been fulfilling the contract and performing to the best of his or her ability. Having to go without payment for two months, as demonstrated by this story, can allow one party to walk away from a contract. Whalen's former team should be made to pay the two months salary she never received, or else she could file a breach of contract suit to recover the back pay.

Source: FOX Sports, " Lynx's Whalen leaves Turkish team," Joan Niesen, Feb. 12, 2013