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Ellen
Ellen, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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I am a 49% partner in a restaurant business. I have been full

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I am a 49% partner in a restaurant business. I have been full time manager and chef for about 25 years. I got married a few years ago, my wife works at the restaurant, and my partner does not like my wife and recently fired her. What rights do I have?
Hello,

Thank you for your question. I am happy to assist you.

I am a lawyer with 25 years experience. While I am permitted to provide you with legal information, I am prohibited by JustAnswer.com and various state bar associations from giving legal advice, representing you or entering into an attorney-client relationship through this open and nonconfidential forum.

Do you have a written partnership agreement? If so, what does it state concerning management and employees?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes, I have a written partnership agreement. All it says about management and employees is that "salaries and bonuses will be determined by unanimous vote." I have never questioned my partner in the past and although I run the day to day business (he is a dentist), he has called most of the shots as it relates to salaries. I have asked for a raise in my own salary numerous times over the years, but because the agreement says decisions about such things must be unanimous, I have lived with the same salary for nearly 15 years without a raise.

Unfortunately absent a written partnership agreement to the contrary, the majority partner would have final say with regard to employees and management.

Your option would be limited to asking the court to partition the partnership. In other words you would ask the court to force the sale of the business


I hope that it helps to know this information

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
But we DO have a partnership agreement. It is silent on hiring and firing of staff per se but it does say that salaries and bonuses must be decided by majority vote. Dosen't hiring and firing of staff some under salary and bonuses? Or even if I have no rights regarding the firing of my wife, what about my salary? Can he literally freeze my salary ad finitum?
Hiring and firing staff would appear to fall under majority vote. However your partner is the majority partner and therefore holds the majority vote. In a situation where your partner has a 51% interest, he will always be the majority vote

If you would like additional details concerning my answer, please click REPLY and I will be happy to respond. Do not click relist as it will delay my response.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The agreement does not say majority vote. It says unanimouos vote. Doesn't that make a difference?

Yes it makes a very big difference. This means you have an equal say in decision making. If you cannot agree, you will need to ask a court to rule on the issue
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