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MDLaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  Experience in business law, contract law and related matters.
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2008: This Texas company consisted of an operations manager

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2008: This Texas company consisted of an operations manager who is the sole shareholder, and a sales manager. The handshake agreement between the operations manager and sales manager was a 5/50 split of income.

January 2011: I joined without an employment contract, and my specific role was to develop a product line that failed in past attempts. I accepted a substandard salary with the potential to earn more as the company grew. My efforts grew income by 50% in the first year, and represented 33% of total revenue ($150k of $450k).

June 2011: The operations manager shifted to business development, I took over operations for a modest pay increase, and trained then supervised a new employee to maintain the product line I developed.

October 2011: The sales manager became non-productive, the shareholder/business development manager shifted to sales, and I acquired inside sales responsibilities.

November 2012: A formal partnership agreement is presented by the shareholder to the sales manager, and me with 50/25/25 stock ownership.

January 2013: The sales manager accepts a buy-out of $50k for 10 years, plus an adder of $18k for the next 4 years.

The shareholder subsequently presents an offer to me for 75/25 stock ownership with compensation at less than 50% of his, citing that I (49-year old female) have a working husband whereas he has a wife and 4 children. Negotiations have stopped, and are unlikely to resume.

Questions: Do I have a claim against company assets? Have EEOC gender laws been violated?
Hello and thank you for using the Just Answer website. I look forward to assisting you this evening. Please remember that we can only provide you with legal information and we cannot give you legal advice.

You stated that a partnership agreement was presented to you in November of last year but you did not state whether you accepted. Are you currently still an employee or are you a partner/owner now?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have not accepted the agreement, and I may or may not have a job. I tried to negotiate in good faith and was told that my compensation was lower due to having my husband's income. The shareholder and I will not see each other or discuss the matter again until Wednesday of next week, at which time he may inform me that I am terminated.

Just to clarify then, you are still an employee of the company, correct? Are you the only employee or are there additional employees?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I honestly don't know if I'm employed or not. The shareholder said that he would not accept my counter-offer today, but that we would meet on February 6 to discuss his decision.


There are 2 employees: one that I trained to maintain the product line I developed, and the boss's wife who was also maintains the product line as of August 2012. Both had no industry experience, and would be considered clerical staff. I have 20+ years of industry experience (15 at Enron).

I'm sorry if you misunderstood my question. I was asking if you are a partner or an employee. You didn't answer yes or no and so I wanted to clarify that you did not accept the November offer to become a partner but you continued working there, correct?

Also, you state the company is a TX company but I need to know if you worked for them in TX.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am an employee (maybe). The company is located and incorporated in Texas, which is where I work(ed).

Thank you for the clarification.

You asked two questions. The first is whether you have any claims against the company's assets. The answer to that is that you would only have a claim if you had a basis for a lawsuit against them and so I am assuming that your first question is actually tied to your second question, correct? Your second question was whether you have a claim against the company for gender discrimination. You specifically asked about the EEOC. Since the company you work for only has two employees, they would not fall under the EEOC's laws or jurisdiction. Therefore, if you were to file a claim of discrimination, you would only be able to do that under state law.

To prove a claim of discrimination, you would have to show that you are an employee and that you were treated differently due to your gender. You would have to show, for example, that a male with a working wife would not be treated the same way in which you were treated. You also need to show some gender animus against you while you were an employee. In other words, the partnership offer itself would not be sufficient since they do not have to give equal shares. If the company, however, in its capacity as your employer made remarks that were clearly based on your gender and displayed gender animus, then you could file a complaint with the TWC - Texas Workforce Commission.

Please let me know if you need any additional information. If you do need additional information, please hit the REPLY or CONTINUE button. If I have fully answered your question, please leave me a positive rating when prompted by the website since that is the only way that we experts get compensated for our time and expertise. We are not paid by Just Answer.

Thank you in advance for allowing me to assist you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My question regarding a claim against assets was related to the unexecuted partnership agreement. Since the shareholder paid a settlement for a handshake deal with the sales manager, I am curious as to whether the unexecuted partnership agreement implies a contract.

From what I understood you to say, you did not accept the offer of partnership in November of 2012. Did I misunderstand? In order for their to have been a legal contract, you would have had to have accepted their offer and you stated that you did not accept their offer. Therefore, there is no contract since a contract requires not just an offer but also acceptance and consideration. You cannot have a legally binding contract without those three things.

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