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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
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I am leaving a family owned business and was promised a severance

Customer Question

I am leaving a family owned business and was promised a severance package that includes health insurance, 18 months salary and moving expenses. I have text messages referencing that said package was in the works and I should have something soon. Things turned ugly and now I fear my severance has been stalled as a way of retribution/revenge. Do I have any legal recourse?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.

Hello and welcome.

My name is Tina and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

Did you or the employer breach an employment contract you had with the company? Do you have any other writing besides the text which sets out your right to payment of these benefits? What is the approximate value of the benefits owed to you?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
There was no contract in place. My step-father is 100% owner and the plan was for me to come in and take over. I have been here for 3 years during which time business has more than doubled and net profit is up 500%. I left a high paying career in the financial services industry in Charlotte to come step into the family business. With the recent success my stepfather(70 years old) has decided he is better suited to lead the company. He can't let go for some reason. My mother is an officer at the company and has helped grow it as well. She retired as an executive with a large insurance company and them came in to help turn around the business as well. She is aware of what he promised me in terms of severance. It has gotten so bad that divorce is imminent.
Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
Hello again, Jim, and thank you for clarifying the situation. I'm sorry to hear there is such a division in the family.

You would typically have grounds to pursue a breach of contract claim if the company does not pay you as promised even though there was not a written contract. The text along with your testimony as well as your mother's testimony would typically be enough to prove your case and right to receive payment as agreed.

A divorce could delay payment for some time though, so you may wish to pursue legal action sooner rather than later. A demand from a local attorney for payment may be enough to motivate them to tender payment to you if they wish to avoid a lawsuit.

It sounds as though you are owed more than you could pursue in small claims court, so hiring a local attorney to pursue a breach of contract claim would normally be the best option to obtain the monies due you.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!


Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.

Hello again Jim,

I wanted to thank you for using JustAnswer, and to inquire whether my answer was helpful in clarifying your understanding of the law even though it may not have resulted in the outcome you were hoping it would.

Is there anything else I can assist you with?

If you do not require further legal information at this time, please feel free to bookmark my profile so you can request me when you do have another question. Here is a link to my profile:

Thank you very much and all the best to you.