Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification
Were you a Union or contract employee?
Do you feel your gender, race, age, or other protected civil right is the reason for the termination?
Did they force you to move to Montana?
No, I was not a union or contract employee. Yes, they forced me to move to Butte, Montana.
In terms of legal action,
your options are limited as Montana is an at will state, however if you had to leave a former job and relocate to be close to their office,
you may have a detrimental reliance lawsuit,
In terms of a detrimental reliance, you would have to show that they promised you a job for some time, and forced you to move and quit your job,
and that you relied on their promise to your detriment,
that would be your only legal option,
if you sign the severance agreement, you would also waive your right to bring legal action, so you have to consider that.
Is a detrimental reliance lawsuit viable? I left a very large corporation and this consulting company wanted me for my so called "connections". The VP of the consulting company was released from all work on any projects related to my corporate job because of some unknown violation of the Code of Conduct. They promised me a minimum of two years work. I have it documented in a work order spreadsheet approximately 950 hours of billable time.
I do not want to sign the document yet.
It is possible, if you can show that you left your former employer and home, based upon their promise of a 2 year job offer,
What you can do is threaten them with such a lawsuit, and they may offer you a better severance package,
I would consider having an attorney send them a letter, or you can send them a letter, and you may be able to get a better severance, a lawsuit of this kind is expensive, and will take time.
So do I need to contact an attorney in Montana directly or can I get an attorney to help me with taking the case since I am in Alaska?
You can have a local attorney send a letter, you do not need a Montana attorney at this point,
if they fail to negotiate with you, consider hiring a Montana attorney to pursue the case further,
OK, so how would you recommend me finding a good attorney based on what you've told me?
The best way to find a good lawyer is contact the local bar association for an employment of labor attorney,
Each county, has a list of lawyers with a certain amount of years of experience,
and they would suggest the best attorney for you,
Or you can start with a letter from yourself, stating that they violated their oral promise of a 2 year offer, and you will consider taking legal action due to their breach, and the fact you have to relocate.
If nothing happens, consider a lawyer.
OK, that sounds reasonable. I can use our discussion to help me with the letter. What tone would you suggest in the letter?
You should be firm, and be clear about what expenses you suffered, and that they induced you to move, with a promise of a two year position. You should mention that you would not have left if not for their promise.
OK. I believe this is quite serious, because I am the head of my household. My husband is a veteran and can't find a job in Montana. The job I have now in Alaska pays literally half of what I used to make.
Yes, then you should send the letter and try to negotiate a better severance, also if you feel your gender may have been a reason, you can allege discrimination and file a complaint as well.
Good luck, and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.
Thanks for your help wallstreet fighter. I am sure I will be back here at some point. Oh, one more thing...should I send everything certified?
certified is best, XXXXX XXXXX email so you have a record,
Email is ok? Well, that's good to know. Thanks.
Yes, the lawyer should send it by mail, email is good as it is delivered faster, and their response is saved,
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Thank you for your time
Hi Wallstreetfighter. I was wondering if you can review my letter before I send it?
Fairbanks, AK. 99709
Highlands Ranch, CO. 80129
Dear Arcadis-US Human Resources,
This letter is to notify you of my intent to negotiate further severance payment from Arcadis-US (Arcadis). This is based on the fact that when I was offered a position in Butte, Montana the verbal offer included the following:
Based on the above verbal promises which Arcadis has not or did not adhere to, myself and my family have suffered major expenses and have been put in a position of displacement by Arcadis. Had it not been for these assurances, I would not have left my job with BP in Houston, Texas. Therefore, I am informing you of my intent to consider taking legal action against Arcadis due to the fact that I have been forced to relocate to Alaska to pursue employment. I will also inform BP of this issue since Arcadis has essentially sold my experience to them on formal contracts and opened an office in Butte, MT. to accommodate BP’s request of local hire.
I am requesting that Arcadis reimburse me for all expenses and damages incurred to me and family based on this breach. The damages cover loss in salary and wages, benefits, relocation, lease payoff, utilities, storage, and overall displacement of an entire family under false circumstances.
The total amount to be: $500,000.00.
OK, does everything else sound reasonable in the letter? Should I cut the amount substantially?
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