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TexLaw
TexLaw, Lawyer
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Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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My husband had an employment contract. It basically stated

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My husband had an employment contract. It basically stated that either party could terminate the contract with a 30 day notice. He was terminated after resfusing to comply with illegal trade activities. Then his employer refused to pay him for the 30 days since he was not notified. His recruiter attempted to negotiate the payment to no avail. Then he pursued it with the Texas Workforce Commission. The investigator stated that he did not have a "clause" about severence. That is why he would not pursue it although he said we could sue in small claims court and win....We need advice about this - and the fact that my husband is 53, and we have lost everything after being relocated by this Chinese owned company. It involves my husband's uncovering illegal trade or deceptive trade practices.... He is male and white - no employment law attorney will talk to him because Texas is AT WILL. We can't believe the Workforce Commission didn't make her pay - he had to FIGHT to get unemployment based on false statements made by this employer. If it had been me (I'm female and disabled - with no overt - disability) I would have cleaned their plates as I recently did with a Fortune 100 BANK that would not comply with ADA. Any smart employment law attorney out there have a good idea about this besides going through the TExas Workforce Commission (useless).
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation.

If your husband had an employment contract which had a required 30 day notice, then it takes him out of the At Will doctrine.

How much is he owed for 30 days?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He was the Business Development VP but ran the entire company - as the Owner was in China the entire time he worked there - selling an electric scooter that competes with segway and is ADA approved...kind of NOT! His base salary was $80,000 and plus sales commissions forecasted to exceed $60,000 annually plus benefits and bonuses. Had he earned his commission his overall salary would have exceeded well over $140,000 per year. That is a key issue, as his female CEO (in absentia) stopped allowing him to actually sell until he was able to gain control over current dealers (he sold dealerships - he is a franchise sales expert) that were defecting due to lack of customer service. So for months he was saving the company and acting as CEO. The CEO offered to pay commission on dealers that were saved. But after he raised red flags about possible deceptive trade practices he uncovered when speaking with current dealers and partners (even the City of Houston) he was ostracized and she basically broke every employment law I've ever been aware of - and privately I've won 3 employment lawsuits against huge companies.....


 


So his base for 30 days: approximately $7000


Medical was cut off (even though he paid it in the previous month) resulting in over $100K in hospital bills after he got sick 3 days post termination....and no COBRA documentation was ever sent to us.


 


Had he been making sales his commission was forecasted at an additional minimum of $8,000 per month..


 


Had he been paid for the agreed customer service commission's on saved cancellation of orders for the month prior to his termination - he would have received another $10,000.


 


Total loss via contract is really the base salary right? $7000 or could it be the total of $25,000?


 


What penalties are there for non-compliance with COBRA? Is there merit in suing them in Oregon?


 


the company is Mighty Lift, Inc. Houston, Tx


 


Question: We pursued this via the Texas PayDay law and the Texas Workforce Commission just blew us off. Because of his illness (I am disabled and we have a 4 year old) it nearly made us homeless when we are accustomed to living a nice lifestyle. We are now living off unemployment and my disability and you know what the job situation is like....it's been very hard. I think he should have a great case for punative damages along with the base salary.

Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.
I think you have a great case as well. You should talk to the Amaro Law Firm (a Houston law firm) about this case, as they might take it on contingency.

In short, you are due the $7,000 plus all sales commission which was already been earned (even though it had not been paid yet). Further, there are likely negligence damages for failing to send out the COBRA notice and the resulting hospital bills that were not covered by insurance (i.e., the loss of benefits during the notice period).

Your case is too big for small claims and you need a professional to handle.

-ZDN
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That is wonderful news. Would you know a particular person we should call? I've been involved with different issues (a horrible divorce, and employment litigation) that I thought it was an awesome case until the TWC told Kirk they couldn't enforce the PayDay law. I believe the case could even go into a med/mal situation as he obtained a secondary infection in the hospital - but that aside. Everything you stated was correct. What he will never prove is the verbal agreement on commission for saved accounts. When he requested agreements in writing or effectively responded to the CEO (in China) restating their agreement on the $10,000 his ThinkPad suddenly crashed (I launched IBM.com and that doesn't happen) and they took his computer for a week and the CEO's brother removed information from his computer. It's an evil situation - and I'd bet there is Deceptive Trade Practice, Internet Deception, International / Federal Trade Violations and more regarding this company. We have a question: This is a small business so does that change your response - as far as I investigated they own several companies, but the two main companies have less than 50 employees. But we are not sure about China. I've found the CEO, Helen Fu as the Owner of numerous companies selling the widgets and fidgets that make up the products she sells to SYSCO, WALMART, SAMS CLUB, HEB and other large corporations with policies to hire minority owned companies in procurement. Mighty Lift is a material handling manufacturer that manufacture and distribute forklifts, dollies, floorjacks and as far as I know they've let their FTC registration expire for several products and do not have a federal trademark and claim federal approval by ADA for another product without documentation....this is a real liability that they sell mobility devices "approved by the ADA" and aren't really approved......When he was terminated they claimed he had not "achieved sales" although he was moved to "customer service" with a commission base to save the company. And then they stated that he supplied false documentation prior to employment - although he was hired by a recruiter and there was an agreed background check prior to employment. It was a fluid situation - they hired him, they negotiated and signed a contractual agreement, and they terminated him without notice, thus violating the contract. He was never warned, written up or told his performance was less than expected....Does the less than 50 employees hurt the case. Don't forget to give us a name - and contingency is great - I think they could take the company from her (all of them).

Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

I can't give you a specific name in this forum as the website doesn't allow specific referrals, but if you contact the firm I mentioned in Houston, the main attorney there will be notified of your case and will give you a full evaluation.

A lot of the issues you mentioned above are whistleblower type issues that will create favor in the jury's mind to believe you on the damages issues. However, your husband's claim will be related to the breach of contract and unpaid wages, plus the consequential damages of loss of benefits leading to the monetary loss you suffered because of the hospital bills. I'm not sure if punitive damages would be recoverable, but that would take a full case work up to determine for sure.

Nevertheless, contact that firm. If they are not able to take your case on, there are other firms in Houston that would be interested I'm sure.

Good Luck
ZDN
TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4258
Experience: Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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