Employment Law

Employment law questions? Ask an employment lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

I am being wrongfully terminated through no fault of my own,

Customer Question
Hello, I am being...

Hello, I am being wrongfully terminated through no fault of my own, but live in Texas, I am also the first employee in a start-up company and was promised in e-mails that equity would be given to me if the company was ever sold in the future. Am I entitled to the equity given that I live in Texas which is an at-will state, even though I am being wrongfully terminated and forced to resign because one of the owners of the company simply does not like me?

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

Currently not, but I plan to do so

Lawyer's Assistant: Are you an "at will" employee? Do you belong to a union?

Yes at will

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

Nothing else at the moment

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Employment Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Answered in 3 minutes by:
12/29/2017
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 6 months ago
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,935
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Verified

Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. Did you sign a partnership or LLC agreement, or anything similar where the parties signed an agreement about equity? What did you give up in exchange for the equity offer?

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I did not sign any LLC or partnership agreements, the equity was purely based on "sweat" equity, as I was the first employee in the company and helped grow it to a multi-million dollar company over 6 years of hard work.
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Thank you for that information. If you gave something up, in the form of free work or a firm job offer, then you might have a cause of action to pursue to enforce the equity offer. However, if there was no legal "consideration" in the form I mentioned, then the email promising equity is voidable by the party offering it unless it was reduced to writing and signed by both parties. I would advise you to sit down with a local attorney who can actually review all of the detailed facts with you and review any paperwork or emails that you have to see if they think a local court would enforce this promise made in the email.

Also, as an aside, a termination is not "wrongful" in a legal sense in an "at will" situation unless there is a breach of a written term employment contract, union bargaining agreement, or is due to unlawful discrimination based on an employee's membership in a protected class under employment discrimination laws. The nature of "at will" employment is that an employee can be terminated at any time, for any or no reason, even if the reason is arbitrary and unfair. The exceptions are what I mentioned.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to reply to this answer and let me know that I covered your question, then the Site will give me credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 29th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies, or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me, even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-marsha411jd/

Thank you.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you Marsha,I had one last question, everything else seems straightforward so far. The dispute between myself and one of the owners of the company was arbitrated between a few employees and myself about 2 years ago, where I apologize in person as well as in writing. While I understand it is unfair to be forced to resign for something so petty, my question is, does informing other employees about the reason as to why I am being forced to resign fall under "confidential" information in any way? I have signed a confidentiality agreement which was part of a non-compete agreement a few months prior to this, and I am unsure if the events that led up to this incident can be deemed as "confidential", as they are mostly just personal issues that the owner had with myself. Would informing other employees of the incident and the truth be unwise and could I be sued by the company for slander/libel/defamation, even though the information is the truth?
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Thank you for your reply, however, I really can't opine whether or not your confidentiality agreement would cover this issue you raised. I can't for a few reasons. One is because we are not forming an attorney-client relationship through this Site, so I am not your attorney and therefore cannot, under Ethics rules, provide you with a legal opinion. The other reason is that I don't have the confidentiality agreement or access to the exact words that were said in regards ***** ***** termination.

If you are thinking about pursuing this, you might take the agreement to a local employment law attorney and have them review it for you in light of what you might know about what was said in the context of your leaving the Company. I can say that usually someone stating why you are leaving employment would not fall within this type of agreement. But again, the factors above would determine that issue. If the employer didn't sign one then it wouldn't be applicable to them anyway.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

I just wanted to make sure you didn't have further follow up questions. If not, please don't forget to leave a rating in the pop up ratings box (should see 5 stars). Thank you and Happy New Year.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with an employment lawyerLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Marsha411JD Your Own Question
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,935
20,935 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law

Marsha411JD is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care.

MildredWashington, DC

Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you

Happy CustomerDenver, CO

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Allen M., Esq.

Allen M., Esq.

Employment Lawyer

13,334 satisfied customers

Employment/Labor Law Litigation

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

20,935 satisfied customers

Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

12,478 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

JB Umphrey

JB Umphrey

Lawyer

6,273 satisfied customers

Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.

John

John

Employment Lawyer

4,029 satisfied customers

Exclusively practice labor and employment law.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

3,007 satisfied customers

I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.

ScottyMacEsq

ScottyMacEsq

Lawyer

2,893 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Employment Law Questions
I work part-time (20 hours a week) as a registered nurse and
I work part-time (20 hours a week) as a registered nurse and my employer has decided to eliminate all part-time job positions and is forcing employees to work 40 hours a week. Due to my family/home li… read more
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
14,672 satisfied customers
I was having problems with the new GM at the hotel I worked
I was having problems with the new GM at the hotel I worked at just two weeks ago. I went to HR and told them about some statements he hade made to me that I believe to be disrespectful and dirragator… read more
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
2,893 satisfied customers
I was recently told that I needed to resign from a school
I was recently told that I needed to resign from a school district to avoid termination after being lied to, bullied, harrassed, yelled at, etc. Since then, because it's mid year, I've been unable to … read more
Sam
Sam
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
10,701 satisfied customers
I am employed at a large tech company in MN. I have only
I am employed at a large tech company in MN. I have only been here 4 months but it is not the right fit as I am unhappy in this role. I am also in sales. I have a feeling it would be very awkward to r… read more
John
John
Employment Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
4,029 satisfied customers
Based on research I know that there is no particular law on
Based on research I know that there is no particular law on how many days a previous employer can sit on your 401k distribtion. But in regards XXXXX XXXXX my grounds for a lawsuit what is considered e… read more
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,007 satisfied customers
In mid-October I was terminated not according to company policy.
In mid-October I was terminated not according to company policy. Even though I was an at-will employee their handbook states, "Due process will be followed in all employee termination events." However… read more
Tina
Tina
Attorney and Counselor at Law, Mediator
Doctoral Degree
31,168 satisfied customers
I worked for a large company in Texas state and resigned in
I worked for a large company in Texas state and resigned in April. Should Obamacare have any impact on health insurance i got via the company's health insurance provider (in line with HIPPA )? Who can… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
I believe I am being forced to resign my position as a receptionist
I believe I am being forced to resign my position as a receptionist at a doctor's office due to a personality situation that I was unaware of from the supervisor and the doctor's wife. I have been acc… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
Employer promised stock ownership, now is reneging and then
Employer promised stock ownership, now is reneging and then wrongfully terminated me. I left my job to go to work for a new start-up restaurant. The funds to start the new company were not immediately… read more
TexLaw
TexLaw
Attorney
Post-Doctoral Degree
4,347 satisfied customers
An employee in Texas tells his current employer that he wants
An employee in Texas tells his current employer that he wants to resign. He gives 3 weeks notice. The employer comes back and says that they will require him to stay on for another 1-2 months before h… read more
LawTalk
LawTalk
Attorney at Law
Juris Doctor
3,071 satisfied customers
I have been with my current employer since April 2008. It
I have been with my current employer since April 2008. It is a family-owned printing company and the owner (wife of the General Manager) has been unhappy with me since I went to the GM and asked for (… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
I am an Assisted Living Director in a retirement community
I am an Assisted Living Director in a retirement community in Colorado. (regulated by the state) I have been with this company for 12 years. I have never had a write up or less than positive review du… read more
JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey
Lawyer
Juris Doctor
6,273 satisfied customers
My boss gave me the option to either resign or step down from
My boss gave me the option to either resign or step down from my current position.. I can not step down due to the hours required and the significant pay cut I will be taking. I have 2 children and ne… read more
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Employment Lawyer
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
13,334 satisfied customers
I believe that I am being forced to resign. I am a director
I believe that I am being forced to resign. I am a director in a casino. On Friday my employer presented me with an action plan to remedy performance issues. The issues essentially are not giving empl… read more
LawTalk
LawTalk
Attorney at Law
Juris Doctor
3,071 satisfied customers
My current employer is divesting the division I work for ;
My current employer is divesting the division I work for ; they announced their plans around 8 months ago and finally they told us they sold the business and the buyer is willing to take all involved … read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
20,935 satisfied customers
Our company which is in Texas was purchased by another company
Our company which is in Texas was purchased by another company also in Texas. The employees not being offered a job with the new company are supposed to receive an enhanced severance package if they s… read more
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
2,893 satisfied customers
I was a highly compensated manager for my sales/distribution
I was a highly compensated manager for my sales/distribution company for 5 years. In April I was uneasy about a pending asset purchase of the company by a private equity firm. A competitor approached … read more
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Employment Lawyer
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
13,334 satisfied customers
I am currently in Texas and I feel I was wrongfully ...
I am currently in Texas and I feel I was wrongfully terminated by a Jimmy John''s franchise. I was terminated due to the "smell" of smoke on me, I am a non-smoker but I do live in a household full of … read more
Anne_C
Anne_C
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
14 satisfied customers

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).

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).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x