How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask socrateaser Your Own Question
socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 39026
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
10097515
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
socrateaser is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

The California company I work for is being purchased by a competitor.

Resolved Question:

The California company I work for is being purchased by a competitor. The deal is an asset purchase resulting in the termination of all employees with certain employees receiving offers of employment from the purchasing company.

I have a three month severance (with out a non compete or mitigated cause if I find work elsewhere) in my “at will” employment agreement that is paid unless I am terminated for cause. The COO of our company informed me that the owners of our company are going to try and avoid paying my severance by saying that my agreement is being “transferred” because of my employment offer letter from the purchasing company, though there is no transfer clause in my contract.


Is that correct? Should I contact the labor board?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 years ago.
If the employment contract is transferred, then you are not terminated, because the contract is assigned to the new employer, and that employer is therefore liable under the terms of the original contract.

If the employment contract is not transferred, then you are being involuntarily terminated/fired, by the old employer, without cause, therefore you are entitled to the severance agreed to under the contract.

Based upon your stated facts, I see no option under which either the old or new employer could avoid either retaining your services and the old contract, or paying the severance.

Re contacting the Labor Commissioner (Division of Labor Standards Enforcement), the DLSE does not generally enforce this sort of benefit on behalf of an employee, because of the complexity of the litigation. You can certainly file a wage claim, but more than likely you will have to hire a private employment rights attorney to sue (unless you want to sue for the $7,500 maximum small claims amount, and waive any additional rights under the contract).

Hope this helps.

NOTICE: My goal here is to educate others about the law. I am always available to answer your follow-up questions after you click Accept – however, if you do not click Accept, the website gets paid, and I receive nothing. This is true, even if you are on a subscription plan. So please click Accept, so that I will be able to continue to provide this service for others in the future.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“To Socrateaser”), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!


socrateaser and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you