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I have recently been terminated from my company. At will. A…

Customer Question
I have recently been...

I have recently been terminated from my company

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you documented this or discussed it with HR?

Yes

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

A week before my termination my incentive comp was announced they fired me a week later. The I comp pays out after the first of the year, but the period for which it applies was Oct-Oct. They are offering me the icomp as a severance but want me to sign additional restrictions that go beyond my current noncompete

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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12/8/2017
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,237
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today.

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only. What specific questions did you have? I have an idea about your situation, but I don’t want to make any assumptions.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I have a CDA and non-compete with my company. Two weeks ago I received notice of my incentive comp award from my employer. It pays out after the first of the year but the period for the award is OCT16-OCT17. A week later I was terminated for using verbose language in a private meeting with my supervisor. The company has offered my a severance package equal to the amount of my icomp, however they have added additional restrictions beyond what my current non-compete covers naming specific employers I cannot work for, one of which I'm likely to approach. They are essentially making additional demands on receipt of money I've already earned.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
the specific employer they've named (there are two) is one that practices use of technology that is specifically called out as NOT part of my current CDA and non-compete
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
They are clearly trying to close the loop and are holding the severance hostage unless I agree to these additional restrictions.
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

I see what you mean. So, generally the law says that if you are terminated, you are owed all funds that you have earned to date. If there are specific commission or bonus schedules, then you're owed that money at the very least during those times that they would be ordinarily paid out. The employer and employee may agree to some alternative arrangement though. In your case, if you already earned that money, then you do not have to sign anything to be eligible for that incentive that you already earned. They owe that to you anyway.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Is that true even though the money has not been paid out yet?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
can they place additional restrictions on me and make release of the severance contingent on my agreeing to those additional terms?
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Yes. If you've earned that money, they must provide it to you. For many companies, you earn your money for the previous two weeks of work, but they agree to pay you at the end of that two weeks. Since you've already earned it, they owe you. Basically, it's the principles of contract law that say if you perform, then they have to perform. They can't place additional restrictions on you to make you release your severance agreement. You may need to get the department of labor in your state involved if this is the case. You already fulfilled your duty so the terms of your termination cannot require you to do more (e.g. sign a non-compete) to get what you've already earned.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
thank you for your help. I'm getting conflicting answers on this.Is there any other possible variables that would change this answer?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
by the way I am an at will employee
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

What else are you being told about this? Also, what state is this in?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I'm in Atlanta, GA
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
A local employment attorney indicated that they could add additional terms and make release of the severance contingent on my agreeing. He went on to indicate that I certainly don't have to sign it, but I forfeit the severance.
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Understood. Let me check in your state to see if there's anything specific or unusual.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Ok, GA has no specific law regarding final paychecks. This means that contract law is going to take over. Under the pre-existing duty rule of contract law, if you have already earned something from the contract, then you are not required to do anything extra to earn it. An example would be if you worked two weeks for your paycheck, but then they told you had to work an additional day to receive that $ that you already earned. It's a breach of contract.

A breach of contract just simply means that one party was obligated to perform and they have either have not performed or have said that they will not perform. Typically, the aggrieved party is entitled to be returned to the same position they were in before the breach. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract. It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court. This website is also pretty cool because you can download the forms right after purchasing. Click here to get started

What other questions did you have for me?

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