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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37639
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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I would like to understand what is the difference between a

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I would like to understand what is the difference between a co-founder of the company and employee at will with small percent of the company( 5% of the company vested in 4 years). Thanks.

Good afternoon Ina,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

There is no legal importance to being named a co-founder of a company. The fact that a person owns a part of a company does not make them immune to being terminated, or sued for a termination of their ownership rights in a company. Most of the time, ownership rights, and how they can end, are written in the by-laws of the corporation/LLC/Partnership.

A person who is an employee at will is subject to being terminated at any time for any reason so long as that reason is not illegal or discriminatory in regard to race, color, gender, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other personal characteristic protected by law.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. Just to clarify, is it more difficult to get rid of a co-founder with a substantial number of shares, for example 20% than an employee at will?

Hi Ina,

Again, the title Co-Founder is not important to the question. Virtually all By-Laws will provide a way that all by the majority owners in a company can be terminated. When termination occurs, there is typically a need to by them out, but virtually everybody is capable of being fired.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

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I wish you the best in 2013,


LawTalk and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your positive rating of my service, Ina. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise. I am generally available at least 6 days a week, and often 7, and it would be my privilege to assist you again in the future.

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