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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 118658
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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My name isXXXXX am in the Dallas Texas area. I have worked

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My name isXXXXX am in the Dallas Texas area. I have worked as an independent insurance adjuster since 2005. Beginning in 2005, my wife and I through a business we owned established a insurance training company which trains insurance adjusters. We had our training school certified by the Texas Department of Insurance as a CEU provider on our certification classes. We have taught out classes on going since 2006. During this time, my wife and I have taken temporary work of large property insurance companies during large weather related events.

During one of these times of temporary employment for a large insurance carrier, I learned of new permanent position coming available. I spoke with the company manager about me becoming a permanent employee. I explained that we also run our training company, providing Texas adjuster licenses, and software training. I explained that I did not want to jeopardize our business by taking a permanent job and being unable to function within the business conducting classes on my own time. After a discussion, he said there were appeared to be no conflict of interest, I only needed to disclose this on their Code of Conduct if hired. This is one of the companies I had previously worked as a leased employee since 2008, AFTER I started the training company. Since 2008, this company has hired many adjusters who had previously attended our training classes.

Subsequently, I applied, made full disclosure of our business, and during multiple interviews this was not an issue. I was offered a final offer and accepted and started work on June 10, 2013. On the first day or two I had to fill out their code of conduct in which I disclosed my part ownership in the corporation and I would do classes for the our company on an as needed basis. I had to sell my house in Houston, paid large real state fees to sell it, and had to pay all my own moving expenses to take the new job. I was required to attend an almost 8 week training being indoctrinated in to the position with the company.
I complete their training this week and was stationed in my new office.

My new immediate supervisor on my second day pulled me into a conference room with a legal document that stated that I would have to sign an agreement that I would not do any training in our family business, and I could have no daily activity in the business. I had already explained that my wife was running the business on a daily basis. I explained that what he was purposing did effect my wife and I asked to take a copy of the document he wanted me to sigh home for her review as well. I was told he could read the document, I could read it, but I could not have a copy of review. I agreed to at least discuss with my wife.

The next day, we had a second meeting and I voice my concerns that I accepted the job with full disclose with my original manager regarding my concerns and he assured that this was not a conflict, I only needed to disclose it regarding our training business. Additionally, I referenced that I had documented it on my application, and went through their entire interview process ( 3 interviews) and this was no issue. I had also previously answered additional questions they had when I signed their code of conduct. I explained that I relied on their good faith and interview process and accept their offer based on the information I was provided. I explained I believe that there is detrimental reliance based on the fact that I did full disclosure up front and throughout their hire process, and now after I incurred all the expense of moving and spending 8 weeks in their training, now they want me to sign a document that I cannot have legal representative review. I have been given until Monday at noon to respond. My manager actually said he would hate to lose me. This situation makes me feel like I am in a hostile environment and afraid of losing my job unless I agree to sign their document. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

I am afraid your next step here is to involve not just HR, but also the company's legal department, since you were hired with the understanding of your company and involvement in ownership of that company.

You are correct in that if they terminate you now because of this, especially with all of the complete disclosures you made, you would have grounds to sue them for breach of contract based on the detrimental reliance and them hiring you with all of these disclosures made in writing to the company.

You should not sign any such document at this point and you need to involve HR and legal immediately before this gets out of control.

If your company can survive without you doing any training and without you operating the business on a daily basis, then you need to consider that as well until you can work this out with your new employer's legal department. You also should consider engaging a local employment law attorney once you notify HR and legal about this matter, because they did make this offer and you accepted with their knowledge and agreement that your owning and teaching for your company would not interfere with your new employer and would not be prohibited and you did incur significant expenses in relying on their representation of this.

I truly aim to please you as a customer, but please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

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Law Educator, Esq. and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Any suggestions on an attorney in DFW?

I apologize but the rules of this site forbid us from making personal referrals or taking on cases for representation on this site.

The best we can do is suggest you use the same sites used by other attorneys, or