Know Who Your Employer Is? – You May Be Wrong.

Published on March 22nd, 2017 by Alan L. Sklover

 
“During the day, I don’t believe in ghosts.
At night, I’m a little bit more open-minded.”

– Author Unknown

ACTUAL CASE HISTORIES:
Case History #1: Newly Established Entity: George interviewed for a position with a well-known sales and marketing agency headquartered in Italy. After being told he was their first choice candidate, basic terms were successfully negotiated. George was then presented with an Offer Letter to sign, which he forwarded to us for review. His email said, “Looks fine to me. All terms are what was agreed to. I will be opening a U.S. office. Two year commitment. Please look for any legal issues. I resigned my present position yesterday.”

One “legal issue” really troubled us: the name of the “Employer” in the Offer Letter was very similar to the Italy-based company, but it was slightly different. Our internet research revealed that the “Employer” listed in the Offer Letter was not the same employer George thought he would be employed by. Instead, it was a new company, established in the U.S. just two weeks earlier by the Italian company, with no bank account, no assets and no credit. Sure enough, George’s Offer Letter represented far less of a “commitment,” than George had thought.

As we explained to George, at any time it wished, the Italian parent company could decide that the new U.S. company was not meeting expectations, simply close it down, and “walk away.” Should that happen, George would have nowhere to turn for anything he was owed, and his “two year commitment” was in reality no more secure than a mere handshake.

Case History #2 – “Affiliates” Included: After experiencing sexual harassment at her job in the hospitality industry, Danielle filed a complaint with HR, and when she decided to leave, she was offered a severance package. The severance agreement included a provision that Danielle would not disparage or criticize the “company” to others, and the “company” would not disparage or criticize her to “others.” (That last word was key.)

A careful reading of the first line in the severance agreement revealed that the “Employer” was defined as “Colossal Hotels, it parents and its affiliates.” After leaving, Danielle was shocked to find out that many hotel companies she considering working for had received a letter telling them that Danielle had been “requested to leave, immediately if not sooner.”

When we wrote to her former employer, threatening a lawsuit, they responded by sharing with us that the 12 hotel companies that received that letter were all “affiliates” and, thus were all part of the “Employer,” and that none were “others” to whom they were prohibited from disparaging Danielle. The definition of “Employer” permitted them to say anything they wanted, however disparaging, to those 12 companies.

Case History #3 – “Leased” Employee: Jim, an attorney who had been working for a large Philadelphia law firm for nine months, decided to purchase a home. He put down a significant down payment, and submitted a mortgage application. Just days before the closing was scheduled to take place, Jim quite surprised when he was notified that he was rejected for the mortgage loan because the bank was unable to verify his employment.

It turned out that Jim was recruited for his law firm position by a small recruiting agency headquartered in another state, and that “paperwork” he never saw provided that he was technically an employee of the recruiting agency, and not the law firm. He had been told something along these lines at the time, but he didn’t pay much attention to the “details.” Because the recruiting agency had, itself, several times defaulted on loans, and had once even declared bankruptcy, Jim’s mortgage lender viewed his employment as insecure, and chose not to make the mortgage loan to him. Unable to secure the mortgage loan in time to close the house purchase, Jim lost his entire down payment.

LESSON TO LEARN: Far more employees than you might imagine are not aware of exactly who their true employer is, even when the name of that employer is prominently displayed on the front door to the office. For those who are given an Offer Letter or an Employment Agreement, almost always their eyes look at only one thing: how much they are being paid. They don’t look nearly as carefully at who is their “employer.” For those who are not given Offer Letters or Employment Agreements, they are often satisfied by “the name on the door,” or “the name on the stationery.”

Does it really matter? Well, for most people, and in most circumstances, it probably doesn’t. But, it sure did to George, Danielle and Jim. Depending on your circumstances, it may well matter to you, too. It can’t hurt to keep a sharp eye out for who, exactly, it is you work for, and how “Employer” is defined in any document given to you just in case.”

The implications could be huge, including your job security and rights to benefits, compensation, and stock or stock options. It would be a shame if you worked hard for 10 years under the mistaken belief that doing so made you eligible for a pension, only later to find out that you were not truly employed by the company that offers it, and thus you are truly “pension-less.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Take the time to consider who it is – or who it may not be – that is your true employer. For example:
Continue Reading. . .

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on March 20th, 2017 by Alan L. Sklover

Featured Coffee Cup

“Misers aren’t fun to live with,
but they sure make wonderful ancestors.”

– David Brenner

Every employer is looking for ways to cut costs, wherever they can. Some are cutting “fat,” and some are cutting right through the “muscle and bone.” At your workplace, look for ways to fairly and reasonably eliminate waste. Lower waste can yield lower layoffs. Be productive. Be efficient. Be cost-conscious. It’s a wonderful reputation to develop.

This week’s quote was sent to us by Maddy Bernstein of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, who says her cost-consciousness is laughed about daily in her office. Thanks, Maddy. If you would like to contribute a favorite quote, saying, proverb, or story, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com.

Need to send a memo or letter? Need a good checklist or form agreement? For a complete list of our Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Form Agreements, just [click here.]

Interested in Membership? It’s free, and has advantages, including discounts on our products. Just [click here.]

Need a private telephone consultation? Just [click here.]

© 2017 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on March 13th, 2017 by Alan L. Sklover

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“Sometimes people put up walls, not to keep others out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”

– Banana Yoshimoto

A co-worker named John is really grumpy, so grumpy that he is often hard to be around. I say hello to him every morning. I often ask him how he is doing. When I go out for coffee, I ask him if he wants a cup. He doesn’t respond very often, and when he does, all he does is grunt. I know he’s had a hard life. A lot of disappointments have come his way. I am getting through, though, I know I am. Very slowly. No matter what, though, I think he is a worthy cause.

This week’s proverb was offered up by Lucas of St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. Hats off to you, Lucas! If you would like to contribute a favorite quote, saying, proverb, or story, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com.

Need to send a memo or letter? Need a good checklist or form agreement? For a complete list of our Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Form Agreements, just [click here.]

Interested in Membership? It’s free, and has advantages, including discounts on our products. Just [click here.]

Need a private telephone consultation? Just [click here.]

© 2017 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on March 6th, 2017 by Alan L. Sklover

Featured Coffee Cup

“In life, when one door closes, another one opens up.
It’s the hallways, though, that are a bitch.”

– Breast Cancer Patient

Between jobs? Between relationships? Leaving one career and starting another? It’s those “in-between times” that can be the most difficult to bear, during which you feel neither “here” nor “there.” There’s more safety in the “ports” and less security on the “open seas.” In those transition times, you can always trust as your true compass and your steady companion the true fundamentals of your life: faith, family and friends.

This week’s quote was offered a close friend who is each day doing nothing but her very best to regain her health and keep her perspective. If you would like to contribute a favorite quote, saying, proverb, or story, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com.

Need to send a memo or letter? Need a good checklist or form agreement? For a complete list of our Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Form Agreements, just [click here.]

Interested in Membership? It’s free, and has advantages, including discounts on our products. Just [click here.]

Need a private telephone consultation? Just [click here.]

© 2017 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on February 27th, 2017 by Alan L. Sklover

Featured Coffee Cup

“There is no greater loan
than a sympathetic ear.”

– Frank Tyger

At work, and elsewhere, we often encounter others who are in high degrees of distress, discomfort or disease. Whether related to work, whether you truly understand what they are experiencing, and whether or not you can do anything to ease their pain, consider offering your ear, at least for the moment. It is what they need more than anything at the moment, and a fairly safe “down payment” for when, sooner or later, you will need an “ear,” yourself.

This week’s proverb was offered up by Elliot S. of Somerville, Massachusetts. If you would like to contribute a favorite quote, saying, proverb, or story, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com.

Need to send a memo or letter? Need a good checklist or form agreement? For a complete list of our Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Form Agreements, just [click here.]

Interested in Membership? It’s free, and has advantages, including discounts on our products. Just [click here.]

Need a private telephone consultation? Just [click here.]

© 2017 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

Alan L. Sklover

Alan L. Sklover

Employment Attorney
and Career Strategist
for over 30 years

Job Security and Career Success now depend on knowing how to navigate and negotiate to gain the most for your skills, time and efforts. Learn the trade secrets and 'uncommon common sense' of Attorney Alan L. Sklover, the leading authority on "Negotiating for Yourself at Work™".

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