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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 110600
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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A California factoring company that controls my companies

Customer Question

A California factoring company that controls my companies finances through a long term contract sent my emails through one of their executives asking me to make a donation to one of their charities. I did because I thought I had to if I was going to stay in good favor. I contributed only $50. I never received a thank you. Instead I received threats to change the terms of our agreement. The changes they want would put us out of business. I feel like I was being intimidated to give money, and when I did not give enough I was penalized. Is this acceptable behavior?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No. I am talking to our corporate accountant on Monday. We are a small company. Eight million a year in revenue. Our corporate accountant has many clients. I have to get in line to speak with him.
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: I'll have more after we have a conference call next week with the financial people and ourselvges. I just thought it was inappropriate for somebody who holds my future in their hands to hit me up for a donation. I also thought it was odd that I did not receive a response when I made one other than to have them come down on us with policy changes two weeks later. I think it's at the very least unprofessional, and if it'snot illegal, it should be.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
No, it would be extortion/blackmail and breach of contract for them to harass or punish you for not making what they consider to be a proper donation. It would also be an unfair and deceptive business practice. You need to keep good records on this and if they insist on continuing this course of conduct you need to 1) report them to the CA Attorney General for extorting donations from customers and 2) you need to sue them in the CA court for unfair and deceptive business practices and seek damages, including punitive damages, plus attorney's fees from them for this practice.

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