California Employment Law

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Thank you for your counsel on our employee problem., my son,

Thank you for your counsel...
Thank you for your counsel on our employee problem. Josh, my son, has been asking the questions so far. Having read the conversation threads, I would assume that you must have a rather negative view of how I handled the situation with the employee in question; specifically not paying him 10% of the company's profits to this employee after telling him that he would receive it. So, before asking my question, I just wanted to clarify my intention with this employee: After telling this employee that he would receive 10% of the profit of the company for the year, I quickly realized that as the owner I could pay my self a salary of any amount and therefore the company's profits after salaries and expenses were subtracted from the gross sales, would be very arbitrary. Consequently, I presented him with a written document that had a formula for his bonus that was based on the gross sales of the company, not on the profit of the company. This amount I did pay him in addition to his salary over the past three years.Also, I would have fired him for many infractions, had he not been Josh's best friend. This employee often came to work hours after his scheduled time and many times high on marijuana. When left in charge, he often closed the shop early on Fridays. He profited by setting up a competitive business with inside information he had gained while employed by us.This employee has not been to work for over two months, so I am assuming he has quit. He requested a severance package of $15,000 about a month ago. To exonerate us of any further complications I paid him the $15,000, but did not have him sign a document. Now he is requesting another $5000. Since Josh's text messages to him are admissible in court, and since Josh unfortunately misinterpreted the oral contract that I had given this employee, I feel that paying another $5000 is well worth it. However, I do want this employee to sign a document this time. Please tell me whether the following document would exonerate my company of any further obligations:"November, 2017In acceptance of $20,000, I, Najman Osman, absolve Magna Chrome LLC, Tim Lutz and Josh Lutz of any further financial obligations. I am content with the settlement and won’t come back later asking for more money or pursue any legal actions against them. $15,000 of the $20,000 has already been paid on 10/5/17 by check # 2336. The remaining $5,000 will be paid on the signing of this document."In addition to the employees signature and date, do I also need to have a signature of a witness?Thank you,
Tim Lutz
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Answered in 1 hour by:
11/8/2017
socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,586
Experience: Retired
Verified

Hello,

Justanswer is a forum for general Q&A about the law. It is not intended to resolve unique legal issues that require legal services. I cannot possibly answer your question about a specific employment release in this forum. If you would like to hire me to represent you in this matter, I'm available. Please let me know if you're interested.

If not I understand entirely. Thanks for using Justanswer!

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you, ***** ***** sense and I understand.
We aren't nearly as concerned as we are coming across in these emails and really just trying to cover all of our bases. None of our fears have come even close to fruition, and at this point we don't think that we need legal counsel, but if anything escalates you will absolutely be the person we go to, thank you so much for your offer.
Our question definitely should have been more generic and simpler.
The question we have, is that if we have a disgruntled employee that feels they are owed more money in severance than they have already been paid, can we draft a document that absolves us from any further financial responsibility? If he signs such a document, and then decides to sue us for more money, would this legal document he signed be the "smoking gun" for winning our case? Would there need to be a witness's signature for it be legitimate? Would it need to be notarized?
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Sorry, I was under the impression that you were offering the call - I forgot that the site screws up and offers it automatically sometimes.

can we draft a document that absolves us from any further financial responsibility?

A: It's certainly possible to draft such a document. I do it all the time. The document that you propose, has some problems, in my opinion.

If he signs such a document, and then decides to sue us for more money, would this legal document he signed be the "smoking gun" for winning our case?

A: Yes. With rare exception.

Would there need to be a witness's signature for it be legitimate? Would it need to be notarized?

A: Neither is necessary, but a notary acknowledgment is generally a good idea.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

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Ask Your Own California Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you so much, I sincerely ***** ***** of your help.
How much would you charge to draft such a document, and how long would it take?

I can't negotiate price or terms of legal services in this forum. It violates website policy. All I can do is send you an offer of direct correspondence, which I have done. You may accept or decline at your discretion.

Thanks for using Justanswer!

socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,586
Experience: Retired
Verified
socrateaser and 87 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
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socrateaser
socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,586
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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).

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