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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12346
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I sold my landscape company to a garden center. we signed a

Customer Question

I sold my landscape company to a garden center. we signed a contract back in March 1. I have been on salary since then. I was to get money for my customer base and equipment. so far no money has been paid to me. When I signed up with this company I was told I was running the residential business that I was to be the 4th man on a 4 man crew. this never materialized I am the 3rd man on a 3 man crew. one of the owners has told me that she does not want residential business. there is also a non compete clause in my contract. I was also told that I can not talk to customers.. I was also supposed to work in nursery 3 days a week that never happened. the list goes on and on.. a couple of questions 1) if no money has changed hands can I ask out of contact and ask for my customers and equipment back? 2) if I get fired or quit will the non compete hold up?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

When was the money due to be paid to you? Has the deadline passed? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was to be paid $18000 when signed contract $ 7500 on June 1, $7500 on july 1 and $15000 on December 1
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
that is 2016 sorry
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

The fact no money has yet to change hands would not in itself allow you to cancel the contract. What may potentially allow you to cancel the contract is if you are not paid on time. You could argue that not being paid constitutes a "material breach" of the agreement. A "material breach" is a breach so significant that it deprives the other party of a "substantial benefit" from the agreement. Only "material breaches" can be grounds for canceling a contract. Whether the failure to pay you is a material breach would be something for the court to decide--it is an argument you would have to make if you were sued, which means there is no way to definitely know where you stand until a lawsuit has already been filed. Nonetheless, this would be your argument.

As for whether you can get out of the non-compete if you quit or are fired, you almost certainly cannot get out of it by quitting. Whether you can get out of it if you're fired will likely depend on whether you were fired for good cause. If you weren't fired for good cause, you can argue that enforcement of the non-compet would impose undue hardship on your and thus that the non-compete is unreasonable. Only "reasonable" non-competes are enforced under NJ law. Again, though, whether the non-compete is reasonable wouldbe something for the court to decide, which means you'd have to wait and be sued and then raise this argument as a defense.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if the owner is telling me that she does not want residential business and is driving business away, there is no business for me to manage. everything they told me I was supposed to do I am not doing does this help my cause in any way
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, you could argue that this is also a material breach of the agreement, thus entitling you to cancellation. I hope this helps. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
does it matter that everything they promised me as far as work is not in writing. it was all a verbal promise
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
It doesn't matter if you can prove that the verbal promise was made and that it was part of your original agreement. I hope this clarifies.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

If I can do anything else for you, please let me know. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service. This is the only way that I am compensated for my time and so is VERY much appreciated.

Best wishes,

Patrick

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I prove that they said that. I wrote all down in journal.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Proof is always difficult when it comes to verbal contracts. Your personal testimony would be admissible, as would your journal, witness statements (if applicable) subsequent emails or text referencing the agreement, etc. Basically, anything that tends to support that the verbal agreement was made.

I hope this helps.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Please do not forget to positively rate my service if I have answered your question. This is the only way that I am compensate for my work and so is VERY much appreciated.

Best wishes,

Patrick