Escape Clause Law and Legal Definition

Generally, an escape clause is a contractual provision that allows nonperformance of the contract upon the occurrence of a specified condition. In labor law, an escape clause is a provision in maintenance of membership union contracts giving union members an "escape period" during which they may resign from union membership. If members do not exercise this option, they must remain members for the duration of the contract.

The following is an example of an escape clause:
"It is expressly agreed that, notwithstanding any other provisions of this contract, the purchaser shall not incur any penalty by forfeiture of earnest money or otherwise be obligated to complete the purchase of the property described herein, if the contract purchase price or cost exceeds the reasonable value of the property established by the Department. The purchaser shall, however, have the privilege and option of proceeding with the consummation of this contract without regard to the amount of the reasonable value established by the Department."