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Can I recoup a negotiated salary after termination?

Richmond, CA |

I have an on-going work relationship of 10 years with clients who offered a guaranteed monthly salary in an email during our salary negotiations in November 2012. With a client we have stopping work on various projects and my employer's personal issues they decided they want to go back to a freelance per project deal.

There is not a signed written contract. I only have an email with the following guarantee :
So what we want to propose is that we give you $4,000 per month as a guarantee every month. That way you have a guaranteed base salary.

Can I get them to pay me based on this email?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

It seems that you are asking whether the email can be considered a binding contract that obligates the clients. But you yourself acknowledge that there is no contract. The fragment that you quote would certainly not be sufficient to create an enforceable employment contract. It is lacking a number of terms critical for constituting a contract, most conspicuously a time certain. You will need to have an attorney review the entirety of any document that you wish to assert and enforce as a contract.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.


First, please keep in mind that this web site is not private or confidential. Anything you write here can be viewed by anyone, including the employer, the clients . . . anyone.

Second, the information you stated is confusing. Are these clients of yours or of your employer's? Who sent you the e-mail, the client or the employer? Are you saying your employer is attempting to convert you from an employee to an independent contractor?

Regardless of the response to my questions, the e-mail text you quote is a proposal which you, or to whomever the proposal was made, would have to accept before it would become effective. There are some circumstances were performance or partial performance would demonstrate acceptance. *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***



The offer was accepted after a negotiated increase. Termination due to clients personal issues and major project put on hold.

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