Good afternoon. I'll be assisting you with your question.
Are they just trying to remove you from your "hands on" duties, or are they trying to take away your ownership interest, too?
Then there are two issues here.
First off, they can't force you out of your shares without buying you out.
Whether or not they can force you to sell your shares is usually dictated by the articles of incorporation.
However, those shares are property that you own, and the majority cannot simply take them away without, at a minimum, compensating you for them.
As for the issue with your actual "hands on" duties, it really depends on how the company is set up, but, ultimately, the shareholdres can replace an employee, or order a manager to do so. If they have a majority of the votes, it does not matter that the person they are removing is also a shareholder.
That issue is, of course, separate from the property right you have regarding your shares. In other words, even if they take away your hands on responsibilities, that doesn't automatically take strip away your shares, too.
Yes, you'd become a silent partner in the sense that you don't participate in the day-to-day operations, but you would still have a 20% share, which entitles you to voting rights.
It all depends on what you want at this point. If you feel as though the company will increase in value over time, then you may consider holding onto your shares. If, however, you want out now, you can try to sell your shares back to the company.
Also, assuing your articles will allow you to do so, you can potentially sell your shares on the open market to an "outsider."
Lastly, if the majority is engaging in opressive conduct, you may have a right to sue them for, among other things, complete dissolution of the company. You can read more about that here:
So, if you just want out, my advice to you would be to first try to work out a deal with the other shareholders. That will get you your money, and help you avoid the expense of attorney's fees.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).