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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11456
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Im in Oregon. I am the V.P. of this company. My employer is

Resolved Question:

I'm in Oregon. I am the V.P. of this company. My employer is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor turned in by a former employee. Yesterday I was told I needed to give my shares of stock back. I refused. He said he didn't need me to give them back because he can have them resolved. Is that legal for him to do? The situation is more complicated than this but I didn't know how detailed I should or could get with this question.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

Were these stocks part of your compensation package? Were they purchased as part of a stock option plan, etc...?

Customer:

I'm not completely sure actually. I paid for the stocks at the time I signed to become V.P. in 2005. I guess a compensation package. I never thought of them as being valuable to me in anyway. It is a small company. When they became incorporated, that is when I signed to be the V.P. and that is when I paid for the stocks as well. And there is more to the story but maybe I need to get an attorney as this unfolds more. I have never ben in this situation before and want to make sure I can cover myself properly

ScottyMacEsq :

Did they tell you to give the stocks back because of something that you did?

Customer:

This is part of where there is more to the story. I have a new business that I started with a friend the beginning of the year. My boss and I had a discussion about 2 months ago where I told him about the business and what I will be doing. Everything was on great terms. We talked about working together down the road being a vendor for his business and me possibly working part time for him when I could as a sub contractor. Then about 2 weeks ago the Labor investigator came to the shop, took what he needed and now the investigation has been going on. Last week my boss said he needed those stocks back as well as a written 2 week notice of quitting. I did not give him anything. Wednesday he asked again and this time I said "No I am not giving you anything, signing anything, or giving you a 2 week notice letter because I have no intentions of quitting." He then said that's fine I don't need the stocks back to dissolve them, it will just cost me more money. I didn't give them back because it feels to me like he is trying to make me look like I'm quitting either in general or during the investigation. I have no intentions of quitting. I need the job. My new start up business hasn't made money for my partner nor I to make a wage and may not be able to for a bit yet until we are able to get business flowing better.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX help a bit.

ScottyMacEsq :

Since you have paid for the stocks, any action that the owner takes to "dissolve" them would be shareholder oppression, and would be a pretty clear lawsuit.

ScottyMacEsq :

(*your boss, that is)

ScottyMacEsq :

It could also be a breach of contract (depending on the terms of the agreement) claim.

ScottyMacEsq :

Interestingly enough, it might be more advantageous for him to "dissolve" the stocks than if he were to let you keep them (assuming that you have a minority share). The reason is that small companies don't have to issue dividends or distributions, etc... and there would be nothing that you could do to compel them.

ScottyMacEsq :

Without a market to sell those stocks, they would essentially be worthless. But if he were to take actions to divest you of those stocks involuntarily, and without a legal basis to do so (i.e. Pursuant to the terms of a contract, etc...) then you could sue for shareholder oppression, and have a better outcome than if he had done nothing.

Customer:

Ok that does help me as well. I am not sure what the outcome of the investigation will be. He did send me home yesterday so he could "think about things over the weekend" and we are supposed to talk about it Monday. He may fire me on Monday. I have a feeling. He has done overtime and "Comp time" incorreclty since I started there in 2005

ScottyMacEsq :

And for that you might likewise have a claim against him, as well as a claim for unemployment benefits...

Customer:

The biggest thing they got mad at me for was talking to the investigator without consenting with them first I'm thinking so they could tell me what to tell him.

Customer:

Ok is what you have told me ok to print off to show an attorney here to see if he or she agrees and go from there, or would you rather say it's best to start from scratch with a local attorney and decide where to go? Or I should ask, do you think I should consider talking to a llocal attorney soon or should I wait until the investigation is completed? This is all new to me. My biggest concern is protecting my new business from them in any way.

ScottyMacEsq :

Ultimately it would depend on what happens on Monday. If you're fired, I would suggest talking with an attorney then. If you stay on, you might not want to "rock the boat"...

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

That is exactly what I was thinking as well. That is also what the investigator said when I spoke with him yesterday. I appreciate your information and taking time out of your day to converse with me.

ScottyMacEsq :

My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11456
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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