I am from Los Angeles, California and I recently was employed for a company that has not yet launched their website or social media presence. Needless to say, they let me go cause they realized my position (Director of Marketing) was not needed cause there was no team for me to lead... They realized they wanted a full-time video editor/producer for all content creation. That being said, during my employment with them, I agreed that to only work for them and that all content I created and produced for them was to be their content only and to be used if given permission by the Founders and Directors. For a special project, they agreed to give me a budget for a third party to produce and edit the higher-level content for the website so I used that budget to have those deliverables done and handed off to my employer. After they were created I was let go and the content was used by the third party company that was paid under the table to handle the project. They are claiming that I breached the agreement when the third party company that produced and created the content didn't sign a contract agreement acknowledging that it to only be "company's" property. They're asking 35000 in damage
What's needed to settle this dispute isn't a question with an AVVO answer. All the details matter: including all evidence about what was signed and by who, what communications and payments exist to support oral contracts, what agency relationships exist, etc. etc.
It does sound, however, like you had some role in this 3rd party's work for the company without ensuring that its work belonged to the employing company.
You seem to belatedly realize that preventative legal work can avoid problems, and it's now too late to change some things. Time to lawyer up.
Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.
As noted, this is a very fact specific scenario and you need to get some proper legal attention on it.
I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your situation and best course of action in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Legal, LLC on the basis of this posting.
I agree with my colleagues, you are in deep doodoo. To answer your question, it may be possible to resolve the issue without having to pay them $35,000. But also as noted, not by any simple answer from a free Q & A forum, there is way too much involved. Did you enter into a contract? Did you breach the terms of that contract? What are the damages of that breach? What court has jurisdiction? Are there terms in the contract for litigation, mediation, and/or arbitration? If you can't afford an attorney, many law schools and charitable organizations offer free legal aid to those in need, in certain cases. I am not sure your case is one of those certain cases though.
Peace be with you, and may love guide you.
An employee cannot be sued by an employer for making mistakes that hurt the employer. In fact, the employer must indemnify an employee who faces liability as a result of the employee acting within the course of his or her employment, even if the employee has created liability to the company for doing so.
You need to get specific, confidential advice and you need it fast.
Good luck to you.
This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.
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