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Offer letter terms not honored

Discussion in 'Employment Contracts & Work Policies' started by mikebu, May 3, 2017.

  1. mikebu

    mikebu Law Topic Starter Guest

    Jurisdiction:
    Virginia
    When I was hired by my current company, I verbally negotiated and received a written offer with scheduled salary increases. The terms were worded as follows.

    "Compensation: You will be paid $X annually. On April 3rd, 2017 your salary will increase to $Y, and will increase again on October 10th, 2017 to $Z..."

    It is now a month past the date for the first increase, and I still haven't received it. Are they obligated to honor the terms of the offer? Are they obligated to give me retroactive pay for the past month?

    I know Virginia is an at-will state. Does that apply here or is that only for termination/resignation?

    Lastly, the offer letter also includes the following paragraph that says my employment agreement with the company can only be modified in a written agreement. Does this help my cause?

    "Integration: This letter, together with its exhibit, forms the complete and exclusive statement of your employment agreement with the Company. It supersedes any other agreements or promises made to you by anyone, whether oral or written, and it can only be modified in a written agreement signed by an officer of the Company."

    Thank you,
    Mike
     
  2. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    When you asked your employer about the terms of your letter what were you told?
     
  3. mikebu

    mikebu New Member

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    The company is a fairly small startup that is currently struggling. Because of this, it was an odd conversation with my boss. His initial response was that they wouldn't be able to give me the increase and started asking me what else I would consider as an alternative. I told him I assumed it was simply overlooked and I haven't thought about it. He said that he had repeatedly warned others in the company that my salary increase was coming, so it wasn't forgotten. He then realized that we were talking about my first increase and not the future October increase, and said that it shouldn't be a problem. He asked me to send him an email reminder, so I did and have that written message from Friday 4/21. On the following Monday, he messaged me saying he hadn't forgotten, that he was working on it but it might be a couple days.

    That's the last time we've discussed it. I'd like to talk to him tomorrow again.

    To complicate things further, the company is struggling enough to ask employees to optionally defer a sizable portion of our wages for 90 days in exchange for a small amount of stock options. Those terms were very unclear.

    I mention this to provide a sense of the current environment. Risks of that aside, I think agreeing to something like that would only muddy the waters at this point.
     
  4. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Most offer letters are not contracts, they are just the employer's intention. Only an attorney who has read your agreement in its entirety can tell you for certain if you have a valid contract and what it might cost to enforce it if you do. If the company is struggling financially, you aren't going to get blood out of a turnip.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The handwriting is on the wall.

    When a company asks employees to defer, take salary reductions in lieu of (YOU FILL IN THE BLANK) financial trouble is bubbling, maybe boiling, and the end is usually near.

    Rather than wait for it, be smart, get out now!!!!!
     

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