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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26063
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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My employer called last Friday, 13 Sept to say my job position

Resolved Question:

My employer called last Friday, 13 Sept to say my job position with Cat Fanciers' Association had been eliminated. I have been with the company nine years. I turned 60 yrs old Sept 4, my husband was diagnosed with cancer first of May, I've used 116 hrs of my 120 hrs PTO available. CFA legal, Ed Raymond sent overnight letter, received Saturday, Sept 14, demanding I sign a Release Agreement that takes away my rights to all Commission payments due, Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Employment Retirement Income Security Act, Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, several other areas, etc. Per the letter from legal, I must respond by tomorrow, Friday September 20. If I sign away my rights, they will pay me through October. Otherwise ALL compensation, including earned commissions and Vacation time, and medical benefits end as of termination date, September 13. They have included a clause they must approve I'm being cooperative in transferring info to Central Office during the time from September 13 to end of October, if they feel I'm not, then payment will be stopped. Obviously I do not wish to sign my rights away and I would like to be paid for the commission already earned and not yet paid, I would like to consider filing for the Family and Medical Act for 12 weeks whereas I'm told the employer must cover my medical insurance cost during that time.

Thank you in advance for your prompt review and return contact.
Roeann Fulkerson-Chrisope
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 9 months ago.
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

I am sorry for this dilemma.

This is, sadly, standard practice. That is, it is common for an employer to offer benefits at termination, but to required that the employee waive legal claims against the employer in order to receive the benefits.

And, it is legal.

If you sign the waiver, they can use that if you later attempt to sue.

So the real question will be, do you have grounds to sue?

If no?? Then take the money and run. Florida and Ohio are at will states for employment law purposes. As an "at will" employee, the employer can fire you for no reason at all. Or they can fire you for "cause" (if you do something in violation of company policy or the law).

The one thing that they can not do is fire for a "bad reason".

Now, a bad reason would be if they fired you based on your race, your gender, your religion, your age (if your over 40), disability, or marital status.

What you describe? If they fired you due to your age? Then you can sue them for wrongful termination.

But you have to prove it...if you file suit, you have to prove up the case to get compensation.

That can be tough to do.

The fact they fired you and hired someone younger? That is certainly a start.

But you will need more than that.

If you do sue them, you will be able to access documents that can help prove the case...internal emails and memo's will be subject to discovery. So it may be if you sue you can find additional evidence to prove your case.

Also...you can negotiate. They are offering to pay to Nov. You can demand to Dec or whatever you are comfortable with. It may be you can get them to pay an additional month or two...if you let them know you are considering a lawsuit for violation of age discrimination that they will grant this request


Please let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

The conversation with the twenty Board members were done in "closed session" so the information would need to be obtained via discovery. I have been told by Board members who left the board the current president declared upon his election to "get rid of me". He and I did not agree on things. He did however give me a $20,000. raise starting January 1 this year.


 


CFA does not have over 50 paid employees so does the Medical Family Act apply for me to receive 12 weeks medical coverage paid by employer?


 


Would it be more effective a letter of negotiations comes from an Attorney vs me?


 

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 9 months ago.
It would be more effective from a lawyer.

That requires you get a lawyer to do this for you...but if you are considering a lawsuit, and have your lawyer engage with cat fancy? You can bet they will take that communication MUCH more seriously than a plea by you for more money/time.

P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26063
Experience: 16 yrs. of trial experience
P. Simmons and 14 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

This is exactly my thoughts. However, I am finding it very difficult to locate an attorney who represents Employee's and I do understand this is a bit more complicated with me living in FL, the company in Ohio and the Articles of Incorporation in NY.


 


I earned commissions on Branded Sales and a $20,000. check is due in the office on October 1. I am due 10% marketing commission. I additionally have other fees due to me they are refusing to pay via the letter.


 


Do you represent individuals outside this source here? If not, do you have a suggestion for me locating an attorney? I have tried searching the Internet and vis referrals, no one seems to do "Employee Law" ...

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 9 months ago.
The terms of service of this website prohibit outside representation. So I can not represent you

And I agree it can be a tough case to prosecute. So tough to find a lawyer to take.
You would be best served with an OH lawyer. OH will have jurisdiction. FL May have jurisdiction depending on your employment agreement.

I would call the OH bar and ask about the lawyer referral service. They can point you towards competent representation.
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26063
Experience: 16 yrs. of trial experience
P. Simmons and 14 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

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