Can I sue my former employer for Financial Hardship?

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?

Los Angeles, CA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Frank Wei-Hong Chen

Frank Wei-Hong Chen

Employment / Labor Attorney - San Marino, CA
Answered

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
therefor;
(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... more
Carl H Starrett II

Carl H Starrett II

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney - El Cajon, CA
Answered

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.... more
Sagar P. Parikh

Sagar P. Parikh

Employment / Labor Attorney - Beverly Hills, CA
Answered

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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