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 Maverick Your Own Question
Maverick, Civil Trial and Appellate Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6392
Experience:  20 years of professional experience
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Maverick is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Ok, I have a small business baking business. I am a owner

Customer Question

Ok, I have a small business baking business. I am a owner with another person. He has a minority interest. We have paid for a car for him and his wife, and premium health insurance for many years, but we can't afford this any longer. He and I both have NOT taken a salary on many occasions in the interests of the business. We have always provided a car for both of them and PPO health insurance for them for many years. He generates no revenue at all. But it now appears that his salary is just accruing a large debt payable to him. It is better if he just stop working for the company and retire because he is 65...because we cannot NOT afford to keep loading the books with debt. What are our options in CA
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has received a very nice salary. Currently we are not selling as many baked goods so we are reducing costs. We have changed the menu but not generating much. I am concerned he will not retire and just load the books with "back wages" and then sue if I ask him to retire. I would like him to just retire and we pay him if and when we generate more money. I am concerned because now a competitor is in the area.
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

Welcome! My name is Maverick. Please give me a few minutes to analyze and/or research your inquiry and I will be back.

Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

Pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) individuals who are 40 years of age or older are protected from employment discrimination based on age. Under this law, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment. However, the ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees.

That said, if he is owed back pack, he will have a right to sue whether he is terminated or not. You best option here is to negotiate a severance with him wherein you spell out the terms under which he will be paid the money owed.

Here is a sample agreement for you to use as a go-by.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We only have four employees and no money to pay him at all. But he can still sue when when knows there is no money. He has managed the books for 20 years??? Can I just ask him to retire and stop putting debt on the books. The longer he works the more debt. It is self-serving. He knows there is no cash, withheld his salary on his own. It would appear that he is trying to push the company to BK because he knows his salary is at risk. We just cannot sell the amount of pastries we used to.
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

1. Well, if there is no money and he sues, then all he gets is a piece of paper that says he won a judgment. So, if he knows there is no money, then there really is no point in him suing.

2. Yes, if you do not have an employment contract with him for any set duration, then you can terminate him even if he does not want to retire. California’s Labor Code specifies that an employment relationship with no specified duration is presumed to be employment “at-will.” This means that the employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause; just so long as it is not done because of age, race, national origin, gender, or disability.

Related California Employment Law Questions