An example was the manufacturing company client that had steadily grown from scratch for over two decades on the seven day/week sweat, toil and leadership of its sole owner. As sometimes happens, he came to realize that his long-term finance director – who, as it happened, had recently been warning that the company was not paying daily overtime as required in California — would never be skilled and effective at collecting the business’s receivables. For such extended incompetence, the owner was “secure” that he was well within his legal rights to fire this employee. As the company employed her “at-will,” the owner also was sure he did not need to explain his decision to this person on departure.
That management confidence evaporated when the worker promptly sued the company and the owner personally for wrongfully terminating her employment in alleged “retaliation” for her having complained about underpayment of overtime. The ensuing court battle was so prolonged and expensive that the owner eventually began planning for the bankruptcy and closure of the business. Fortunately, and with the help of a skilled mediator, the case settled before such drastic consequences. Nevertheless, the confidential settlement terms still saddled the company with payments to the worker for the next year, further crippling operations and thwarting expansion plans.
While that business eventually recovered, the whole exercise could have almost certainly been prevented if that owner was sufficiently educated to know the dangers he faced and to seek experienced legal counsel to assist the company through the process. Instead, company management learned a very expensive lesson, in effect returning from a near-death experience.
Whether a client is in such a crisis or is happily just seeking to put measures in place to avoid such disasters, our 100 combined years of problem-solving experience as top employment lawyers can protect your interests, assets, and livelihood.