Employer promised stock ownership, now is reneging and then wrongfully terminated me.
I left my job to go to work for a new start-up restaurant. The funds to start the new company were not immediately available and I agreed to defer my pay until the funds came in. There were delays and it took 7 months before i went on the payroll
and was paid at the rate of $42,000 per year. The deferred pay was not given but I was promised $75,000 per year salary and "sweat equity" so i trusted I would be fairly compensated. Critical mistakes were made and the first restaurant closed. Equipment was transferred to a new location and opened again and the employer finally put the promise of the stock in writing but did not give me any legal documents showing my ownership. Then, he stated I had to agree to work for the company for a minimum of 3 years to get the stock as consideration. I stated I have already given consideration for my hard work (80 hours per week, deferred compensation, etc). He then turned on me by telling me the company had financial problems and he had to cut my salary by 40%. I told him he was constructively terminating me and said no but if I would sign a full release he would not deny my unemployment
I believe that he never had any intention of giving me stock, paying me $75,000 or paying the deferred wages
but was just using me for cheap labor
during the start up of the restaurant. Clearly he knew I could not work for the 40% pay cut
but created an agreement that required me to work at low rate for 3 years. I quit and filed for unemployment, he opposed it but they gave me my unemployment because the pay cut was unreasonable.
I now want to sue him for my back wages and compensation for the stock and wrongful termination
. Please explain to me the nature of and the type of claims I have given these facts. Do I have valid claims against him?