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Can I sue my former employer for Financial Hardship?

Los Angeles, CA |
Filed under: Business

I was promoted to be relocated from Dallas to Seattle. For weeks I asked about my pay, and requested assistance for my moving expenses. Days before moving, it was agreed that I would be given assistance(breaking my lease and moving), but did not disclose my pay. It was not until I was on the road, after I vacated my apartment, that they emailed me my compensation plan. Not only was the compensation less than expected, but it was also 40% less the the lowest paid manager in the company. I expressed to them my dissatisfaction with the compensation plan, and they were not willing to negotiate. They figured that they had me in a corner and that I had no choice. I was forced to resign and was put in financial hardship. Can I sue for reimbursement and moving expenses. If not, what can I do?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    You should probably consult with an employment attorney in Seattle, if that is where the company is located. Perhaps Washington has similar statutes as California? In California, a person in your situation would have remedies under California Labor Code sections 970 and 971, which provide:

    970. No person, or agent or officer thereof, directly or
    indirectly, shall influence, persuade, or engage any person to change
    from one place to another in this State or from any place outside to
    any place within the State, or from any place within the State to
    any place outside, for the purpose of working in any branch of labor,
    through or by means of knowingly false representations, whether
    spoken, written, or advertised in printed form, concerning either:
    (a) The kind, character, or existence of such work;
    (b) The length of time such work will last, or the compensation
    (c) The sanitary or housing conditions relating to or surrounding
    the work;
    (d) The existence or nonexistence of any strike, lockout, or other
    labor dispute affecting it and pending between the proposed employer
    and the persons then or last engaged in the performance of the labor
    for which the employee is sought.

    971. Any person, or agent or officer thereof, who violates Section
    970 is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than
    fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or
    imprisonment for not more than six months or both.

    Furthermore, California Labor Code section 972 provides:

    972. In addition to such criminal penalty, any person, or agent or
    officer thereof who violates any provision of Section 970 is liable
    to the party aggrieved, in a civil action, for double damages
    resulting from such misrepresentations. Such civil action may be
    brought by an aggrieved person or his assigns or successors in
    interest, without first establishing any criminal liability.

    So consult an attorney, and good luck!

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

  2. You looked before you leaped and bear as much responsibility for this situation as your former employer. You were not forced to resign and you have not described any facts that would give rise to any type of compensable claim. About the only thing you can do now is look for a new job.

    First, the firm is a debt relief agency according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. We help people file for bankruptcy. We also do other stuff and we do it well, but Congress wants me to post this notice. Second, nothing on this site is legal advice. You are not my client unless you enter into a written agreement signed by you and me.

  3. Sounds like you agreed to move even though you did not know what your pay was going to be. Unfortunately, it appears that you will not have any sort of recourse here as you know what you were getting into.

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