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“If you really want something, you bring cash.”

– B.B. King
Legendary Blues Guitarist

Promises, promises, promises. The essence of employment is that employees devote their time, energy and creativity to their employers in exchange for promises of future rewards, including raises, promotions, bonuses, stock, etc.

Unfortunately, sometimes workplace promises are not fulfilled. Some workplace promises are “discretionary,” meaning that they will be fulfilled only if the employer decides to do so. Some workplace promises are “conditional,” meaning that they will be fulfilled only on certain conditions. Others are tentative or unclear in other ways.

When you receive a workplace promise, consider requesting three things: (1) payment sooner than later, (2) a “substitute promise,” to be fulfilled just in case the primary promise is not, and (3) if appropriate, that a simple record of the details of the promise be made, perhaps an email by the promisor to you, or from you to the promisor. Otherwise, those details may include that it is “discretionary,” “conditional,” or even not to be fulfilled for many years. Always ask with respect, but don’t be afraid to ask, for clear confirmation of a promise. Chances are, you’ll be glad you did.

This quote was sent to us by Paul of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Much obliged to you, Paul. If you would like to submit a proverb, quote or thought, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com.

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