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Former 'Biggest Loser' contestant in contract dispute in New York

Employment contracts can come in a wide variety of occupations. While many jobs have no express written contract, there are many others that involve a contractual agreement. The issues are generally included in an effort to define an employment relationship that can be used to modify general employment principles in a state. But, sometimes disputes over employment contracts can head to litigation.

New York law recognizes employment contracts, which can include provisions concerning what must be involved for a company to terminate a person employed under the contract. Non-compete agreements are also legal concepts that may be covered through a contract.

Some relationships may involve narrowly defined relationships between a person and a company. Take for instance the recent disputes that have arisen between a Levittown-based company and a former contestant on NBC's "The Biggest Loser."

A Bethpage, New York, woman lost 155 pounds in the 2009 season of the NBC reality television show. The chief executive of a Levittown-based company says that the business hired the Bethpage woman as a spokesperson for the fitness company.

The deal reportedly included an agreement that the woman would make a specified number of personal appearances on behalf of the company. But, the company CEO claims that contract includes a fitness clause—a clause the company says the woman breached by gaining weight.

The woman, meanwhile, says that the fitness company breached her deal with the company. She says that her name and likeness were improperly used on the company’s website. She also says the company breached the employment contract concerning appearance fees. The woman filed a lawsuit in Florida, but withdrew that case and plans to file in New York against the company.

The issues appear headed for court. Newsday reports that the company claims that the woman violated her contract by signing a deal with Anytime Fitness while still under contract with the Levittown company. The woman says that Anytime Fitness is not a competitor of the online fitness marketing company.

Source: Newsday, “Tara Costa, former 'Biggest Loser' finalist, in legal dispute over weight," Frank Lovece, July 9, 2013