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TexLaw
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Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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My Boss verbally promised me a 6 month change in position and

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My Boss verbally promised me a 6 month change in position and then the company would pay me a lumpsum for me to leave the company. I agreed but he has not followed up in writing and it has been over 3 weeks. My present position has been advertised internally and i am expected to start in the alternative role next Monday. where do i stand legally? should i refuse to start the new role till i get confirmation in writing of the agreed deal?
Hi,

Thank you for your question.

I need you to answer the following for me to fully assess your situation:


1. Do you have a written employment agreement for your current job with the employer?

2. Did you promise anything in return for the boss's verbal promise? (i.e., why did your boss make this promise)?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have a written offer letter that states if the company wants to cease my employment they would pay me 1 years salary, recently i told my boss i was disatisfied with my present position and i would be looking internally within the company for a new role. after a while he came back with the verbal proposal outlined above.

Thank you.

The offer letter constitutes a binding contract. Thus, you are still entitled to the 1 year salary if the company wants to terminate your employment without cause (i.e., you get 1 years severance).

That being said, your boss's verbal statements regarding switching you to a new roll and paying you a lump sum to leave do not constitute a new agreement unless it is put into writing. Thus, the first written agreement would still be in place, and the company would owe you a 1 year severance if they want you to leave without cause.

This means if you want to be paid out in a lump sum when they ask you to leave, you will need to get this agreement in writing. Legally, you cannot force them to do it, and they are not legally bound by the verbal promise until it is put into writing.

Are you saying that the company is going to ask you to quit working in 6 months? The company wants to pay your severance in a lump sum rather than as a regular paycheck? Would the amount they would pay in the lump sum be less than they would pay if you accepted it as a paycheck ever pay period?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes the company would want me to leave at the end of this year and they would pay me the years salary that is in my contract.
If I understand you correctly, i should not accept to start in the new role they have offered me until such time as i have in writing the terms and conditions associated with the new role and my termination date and the package i will be paid on termination.


 

That's correct. Your only leverage at this point is that you still have them bound by the first written contract. Thus, the cannot ask you to change positions unless they want to amend that contract.

That being said, you have a duty of good faith cooperation which would require to notify them that you will not start in your new position until you are given an amended agreement with the new terms in writing.

My suggestion would be to send an email to your boss telling him that.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you that makes good sense.


Best regards


Steve M

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
ZDN
TexLaw and 4 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I took your advice and told my boss i could not start in a new position without written confirmation of what my new contractuaql terms will be.


 


My boss stated that both he and the head of HR are very busy and will not have the details in writing to go over with me till next Thursday and not to come into work Monday Thru Wednesday and to meet with him and head of HR or Thursday at a local hotel for Breakfast see below.


 


Steve



Reconfirming our conversation earlier we will meet you Thursday morning (1 Aug.) Let’s have breakfast at Intercontinental (0800) so we can take time and go thru the folllowing



- Formally transition MIA with anything open


- Provide you Ex Com feedback on opportunities


- Review Agreement Document



You are fine to take off Monday-Wednesday due to my travel conflict and Ian’s CIM commitment next week



I sincerely appreciate your eagerness and desire to get things documented in writing which will take place next Thursday



Best Regards


 


 


Question 1


verbally i was told the agreement document mentioned above would say, work in seperate dept from July 29 through till the end of the year, during which time i should look for a new job within the company, if at the end of the year i had not found a job they would honor what was in my original contract and pay me a years salary and repatriate me back to Europe.


I verbally agreed to thisbut wanted it in writing.


 


since the conversation my present job has been advertised and interviews are taking place.


 


If the agreement document does not reflect the verbal agreement then am i correct in thinking that i would be in a position to stand my ground and claim that by advertizing and interviewing for my job without any written agreeent from that i have grounds for claiming constructive dismissal and taking legal action?


 


Question 2 My contract says a years salary. I am actually paid every two weeks i also recieve a "position allowance " every quarter as this is a fixed amount am i correct in claiming this as part of my salary?


 


I am also elidgable for a 30% incentive bonus paid anually, since i will be working the full year this year can i claim this as part of my salary?


 


thanks


 


 


 

I address each question below separately:

1. If the agreement document does not reflect the verbal agreement then am i correct in thinking that i would be in a position to stand my ground and claim that by advertizing and interviewing for my job without any written agreement from that i have grounds for claiming constructive dismissal and taking legal action?

A: If the written agreement they bring to breakfast does not contain the terms as was promised in the verbal offering, you should indeed stand your ground. It would not, however, be on the terms of a constructive dismissal. There is no breach in contract on their part until they do something that they promised not to do (or don't do something they promised to do). Their main obligations are to (1) pay you; and (2) pay out the severance if they don't want you to work.

Are you still being paid?


2. Question 2 My contract says a years salary. I am actually paid every two weeks i also recieve a "position allowance " every quarter as this is a fixed amount am i correct in claiming this as part of my salary?

Probably not. A salary is the salary. A position allowance is more akin to some sort of living expense pay, so this would not be considered "salary".



I am also eligible for a 30% incentive bonus paid annually, since i will be working the full year this year can i claim this as part of my salary?

No. Bonus and salary are two different things.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


OK thanks, I am still being paid so i will wait and see what comes out of next weeks meeting.


 


Thanks and Regards


Steve M

Good deal. If they stop paying you or don't pay you the severance, that's when you can sue for breach of the employment agreement.

-ZDN