Friday, January 18, 2008

Q: My Employer Has Offerred Me Severance In Exchange for Signing a Waiver. What Should I Do?

Q: You have been fired. Your employer offers you a severance agreement. The agreement offers you money in exchange for signing a waiver. What should you do?

A: You should understand exactly what it is you are waiving. If possible, have a lawyer review the agreement. Some employers take advantage of their superior bargaining power and insert unfavorable terms in severance agreements. I have seen non-competition, non-solicitation, attorney fee-shifting, and arbitration provisions inserted into severance agreements.

You should protect your interests. Understand what your former employer will say to future employers seeking a reference. Will your former employer give you a positive, or at least, a neutral reference. Will your former employer contest your claim for unemployment benefits?

Lastly, do not leave money on the table. Understand your rights to earned wages under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Satisfied Client -- Commissions Case Under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law

Last year I worked very hard for a client suing his former employer for commissions under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law. We settled the case on the courthouse steps toward the end of the year. Because we worked so hard on the case last year I am posting with his permission my client's very kind testimonial.

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing this letter in support of Mr. Jim Rubin. I will preface this letter by saying that I had very high expectations of the attorney I hired for my case. The amount of commission money I had at stake was substantial, and the company that I worked for was putting all of their resources into their legal machine to prevent me from collecting the money I earned. I interviewed several employment attorneys before selecting Mr. Rubin to take on my case, and am confident I made the right decision.

As a commissioned sales representative fighting for unpaid wages, I knew I needed an advocate knowledgeable in employment law. The selected attorney needed to guide me through the legal process, and counsel me throughout this stressful and emotional process.

Mr. Rubin was organized, knowledgeable, confident, and prepared for the legal onslaught we faced. After a long and hard fight, we settled the case with my previous employer. I feel very strongly that my previous employer was more amenable to settlement knowing I had a good attorney that was going to present a very persuasive case. I am thrilled with the result, but would have liked to see Jim present the case he worked so hard preparing. I have no doubt that if we had to go the distance we would have had a favorable result.

As with most serviced based occupations (real estate agents, lawyers, dentists, etc.) everyone seems to have “someone” to recommend. I am fully confident in Jim’s ability to take care of my friends, family members or colleagues that require the services of a skilled employment attorney. It is a situation that I never hope to be in again, but I am glad I now have a very good “someone” if the need arises.

Best Regards,
Former Outside Salesman