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I'm an independent contractor who was offered stock to be a…

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I'm an independent contractor who...
I'm an independent contractor who was offered stock to be a member of a company along with a close friend of mine. A portion of my pay was re-routed into stock, and after almost 3 years of overwork, my friend and I are looking to get out of the situation and return to our original pay. The original owner claims that since he planned on hiring new employees these years, the pay increase going to us would prevent that, and he plans to sue us for civil conspiracy/extortion. Does he have a case?
Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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4/2/2018
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,441
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. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Thanks so much for your patience. The answer to your question is no, I don't have any reason to believe that this person would have a case. The first reason is because conspiracy only applies to when people agree to engage in some criminal act. Extortion occurs when a person is forced to do something they are not otherwise legally obligated to do through force or threats. Neither of those situations apply here. In this case, this seems like a basic contractual negotiation where you are looking to go back to your original pay rather than being awarded stock. As an independent contractor. you are welcome to negotiate the agreement to terms that are more favorable to you, but this doesn't arise to anything that the other party is saying it is.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

One little known, but very effective tool that lawyers use when there isn’t a law that they can rely on to support their position is called principled negotiation. All this means is that you are looking to get something done on the basis of principles, even if you can’t find a law to support you. It takes the anxiety out of dealing with the other side because you’re focused on the facts, not each other.

Here are some simple steps you can follow:

  1. Figure out what the other side’s interests are (saving money, saving time, etc.?);

  2. Think about what your interests are (saving money, saving time, etc.?);

  3. Come up with 2 to 3 reasonable and objective ways to solve the problem;

  4. Present it to the other side;

  5. If the other side rejects, ask them, “Is there a reason why you do not feel it is necessary to negotiate?”

Of course, these are just building blocks to get the other party to help solve the dispute. Believe me when I say that good lawyers use this technique all the time to keep things out of court. You’ll find that it is very effective even with the most stubborn of individuals.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Because I value your input, I would like to know what other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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