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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37869
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I was General Manager for a dealership in Fresno. There were

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I was General Manager for a dealership in Fresno. There were 2 partners. One was the general manager and the other was President. The President(51%) had a falling out with the general manager(49%)and let him go and promoted me to GM. At the time of my promotion (06/11)the dealership had a net loss of $160k YTD. We finished the year with a net profit of $400K. 2012 net was also approx.$400K. At the time of promotion I was verbally promised a $150K parachute in the event of a sale. The store sold last month as a "stock sale" and I was let go by the new owner. The environment for the last year and a half was hostile since the partners were family and the fired GM repeatedly tried to have the dealership put into receivership. It was the profitability of the dealership based on my running of the operation that kept that from happening. I had to be deposed as well during the lawsuit. I feel that based on my performance they had no justification to let me go. Do I have a case? My last year salary was $200K.

Can anyone who would be willing to testify under oath, corroberate your oral agreement concerning the "parachute?"

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No that was just between us. But with the performance of the dealership and everthing I went through I thought I still had a case.
You're probably going to shoot the messenger, here.

Cal. Labor Code 2922 provides that an employer can terminate an employee at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all, unless there is an agreement in which the duration of the employment agreement is specificed, and is at least one month in length.

Since you apparently have no such contract, the employer can simply tell you that your services are no longer necessary and there is nothing that you can do about it -- no matter how exemplary your work may have been during your employment.

Which is why I was hoping you had someone who could verify the oral promise for the parachute. That is the only way that you could enforce the contract against the new employer.

Maybe the former GM knows something about the agreement. Maybe the President's Secretary overheard the promise. You just need one witness to put the matter into dispute -- but, if it's just you and the President, then unless the President admits to the promise in court, you don't have any objective evidence, and the court would have to find the new employer free of liability.

Hope this helps.
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