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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    3

    Sad Need advice on possibly getting out of a contract

    My sister is a professional dog groomer. She went to school and got certified. After that she stayed working at the school for 2 years, we moved back to our home town where she found a local grooming place to work for. She signed a 1 year contract and has been there for 6 months. Well the past 3 months have been a living nightmare for her. A dog bather is making her job near impossible at times, leaving dry dog poop left on dogs bottoms, not drying them all the way, or going out of her way to not even bathe my sisters dog. My sister grooms 5 to 7 dogs a day and the bathe doesn't hold her end of the job up. My sister has had several talks to the owner about the situation and nothing has change and seems to just be getting worst. It's to the point where my sister feels stuck. I'm just wondering if there is anything she could do to get out of the contract.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    12,193

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    Quote Originally Posted by RemmysMom1218 View Post
    My sister is a professional dog groomer. She went to school and got certified. After that she stayed working at the school for 2 years, we moved back to our home town where she found a local grooming place to work for. She signed a 1 year contract and has been there for 6 months. Well the past 3 months have been a living nightmare for her. A dog bather is making her job near impossible at times, leaving dry dog poop left on dogs bottoms, not drying them all the way, or going out of her way to not even bathe my sisters dog. My sister grooms 5 to 7 dogs a day and the bathe doesn't hold her end of the job up. My sister has had several talks to the owner about the situation and nothing has change and seems to just be getting worst. It's to the point where my sister feels stuck. I'm just wondering if there is anything she could do to get out of the contract.
    Does the contract specify who is responsible for the bathing? If the owner is contractually obligated to provide bathing services and she has violated that part then yes. If it is not in writing then IF IT WERE ME I would be bathing and drying my own dogs, and leave after a year
    My Blog The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northern NV
    Posts
    4,880

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    She should just bathe her own dogs. Easy solution

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    3

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    The owner is contractually obligated to provide the bathing services, the only time she is to wash her own dog is if the 2 bathers have bath dogs scheduled that day. The owner also expects my sister to groom 6 to dogs a day and be done by 6pm and sometimes she is not because she had to bathe them herself. Also the owner is scared to lose my sister because where we live there aren't many certified groomers or ones that have been professionally trained. My sister is just feeling very overwhelmed and has no one to turn to talk to about this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    1,489

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    Sorry to hear she is going through this. Here are several comments on different things.

    1. Most contracts have to state an exit strategy. Sometimes contracts are written so badly even omitting this, an attorney can void the contract, let alone breach of contract. Get a legal opinion. The attorney can even document with your help that and write a letter to the employer that the employer is not keeping their side of the contract providing unprofessional bathing services.

    2. Then she could choose to do the bathing too, but have that letter still given to the employer. Put it in writing the dissatisfaction on RECORD. Again, the employer is noted for breaching the contract. Bathing quality you describe is not sufficient, and that compels the breaching of the contract.

    3. I want to comment on your sister's productivity. With 2 plus years experience, and nearly 3 I believe in her case, 6 grooms a day with bather support is pretty slow. Now don't take that as a criticism of her. That is what she likes to do, fine. Most schools tell students that after they get working experience of this length of time they should be capable of doing 7 to 8 a day (8 hours) complete, meaning no bather support. Some avg even more than today. However, if her contract says that is all she has to do, 6 or 5 to 7, fine she is keeping her side of the contract. I bring this up as your sister is likely going to be working somewhere else in some months, and this is what she will face in job market. Exp groomers easily can do 7 or 8 including baths. If she can do that it also helps her to know what she can earn potentially in the future. Also, I don't think she has any physical limitations but if she did the 6 number you mention her desired rate, and that is fine for her to say, I choose to only do this. As an employer I could accept that, but again I want you to know the job market out there.

    4. Where a contract exists between 2 parties, if this ever came into litigation, a judge will follow the paper trail. GREATLY SO. Your sister should keep daily notes of how many the bather did for her, and the quality. Daily. She should advise the owner verbally on occasion of incidents and KEEP THOSE DATES in her notes. She should write a letter to the owner now, soon, perhaps via the lawyer mentioned above. It is one thing to keep noting all the issues, but you have express your discontent and incidents from notes into a letter in writing to the other party of the contract, in this case the employer. She can write her own letters occasionally thereafter to the owner when the bather and owner don't keep up with their share of the burden to meet the contract. Believe me, I have seen many cases and the one that turned over the documentation like this almost certainly won every time, and the judges do that because employers are supposed to be documenting everything and when the judge asks the employer for their documentation and have little or none, you will see one of the sourest Judge Judy faces ever. Employers that don't document often get "taught a lesson" big time. It is up to your sister to document equally though. Not hearsay going back and forth, that goes NOWHERE fast.

    She may have to finish her contract and yet note everything as I recommend, and do get an attorney. Maybe the employer will let her go early when that letter from the attorney arrives? Very possible. End of problem and find another job quick. This is a good time of the year to find jobs. Your sister doesn't want a career working at a place like this. That letter from the attorney should stress the employer is making it impossible to do her part of the contract when the bather distracts, holds up and leaves pets unclean. See? The employer is at fault to a judge and is that breaching a contract? Get your legal opinion. There is no reason this should cost lots of money. Review time with the attorney and a letter to employer. A couple hours I would guess, but get an estimate from the attorney before authorizing it. Don't advise the employer necessarily of what is being done legally at first. Great wakeup call for an employer who is on the other side of a contract to provide as well. It might just lead remember to getting out of the contract. As I said, most contracts should have an exit strategy stated inside the contract. Often the don't mention in this case your sisters options, but it might say if she doesn't groom this level of quality or whatever, she can be let go etc. Not having an exit strategy for both parties can be an opening for even in this case that the contract is insufficient....you need a legal opinion. Deficient contracts are vulnerable is what I am saying...but that has to be backed by a legal opinion.

    That is my two cents. I have seen this done many times over my years as a consultant. Sometimes you have to just persist, finish a contract, and leave. Start applying for jobs before the contract ends so there is no big loss of income.

    I hope this works out well for her. Perhaps your sister can open her own tiny shop, mobile, housecall whatever where she is her own boss. If she likes just doing 6 a day, you can ask mobile groomers here on the board about how many a day they do. Some may just do 5 stops a day but they do the bath and groom working alone most of the time. Tiny shops at the right reasonable rent can sometimes operate this way well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,546

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    Just to add to Stephan’s documentation comment.

    My Mom had to take on the nursing home that my Dad was at.
    She had been documenting treatment.
    The lawyer told her that the day-to-day documentation that was written in a journal style book carried more weight then documentation written in a spiral bound or 3-ring binder type book.

    Journal style or notebooks that are bound like a hard back library book carry more weight in truth because pages can’t be removed without leaving evidence as such.

    A spiral bound or 3-ring bound could easily have pages removed if you “changed your mind”. The “Oh, what I said there didn’t sound good. I’ll just remove that page. No one will ever know” factor.

    You can backup your journal bound book with photos taken with your phone. I think that would increase your reliability in your case.
    Some thing like....notes in journal. January 21, 2019. Manure on dogs rectum after bath. Photo taken at 11:52.
    January 25, 2019. Dog still damp after drying. Photos taken at 2:36.

    The judge could match up journal entries and photo dates and times and notice if anything was missing.

    And, because of my Mom’s journaling, she did win her case.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    3

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    The only problem with my sister bathing her own dogs is, there are only 2 baths, one for big dogs and one for small dogs. Sometimes she does bathe her own dogs. There are 2 bathers and 3 groomers in this salon.

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