ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Doing Your Job Well to Benefit Your Employer Doesn't Result in Unjust Enrichment

In a recent case out of the Western District of Pennsylvania, Argue v. Triton Digital, Inc., Civil Action No. 16-133 (behind paywall), Argue, an engineer, brought suit alleging that his employer had been unjustly enriched by Argue's efforts. It's an interesting allegation. The court pointed out that what Argue was characterizing as "unjust enrichment" was really just him performing his job. He received a salary in exchange for his work, which included inventions, and his employer took that work and those inventions and used them to increase the value of its business. That wasn't unjust enrichment; the employer was entitled to do exactly what it did.  

Complicating this further? Argue had an employment agreement. The court pointed out that unjust enrichment is a doctrine that's supposed to be used only when no contract exists between the parties. Here there was a written agreement that provided Argue's employer with the right to Argue's inventions on the job. He could not, therefore, argue unjust enrichment at all. 

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog/2017/05/doing-your-job-well-to-benefit-your-employer-doesnt-result-in-unjust-enrichment.html

Current Affairs, In the News, Labor Contracts, Recent Cases, True Contracts | Permalink

Comments

Post a comment

If you do not complete your comment within 15 minutes, it will be lost. For longer comments, you may want to draft them in Word or another program and then copy them into this comment box.