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Non-Disparagement and holding up my pay check Virginia

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  • Non-Disparagement and holding up my pay check Virginia

    I recently quit my job as a sales rep for a Virginia based internet start up company. I was only there for 3 months as the product was simply not ready to be sold.

    I gave them notice on May 14th and I received an email from the VP stating they didn't need 2 weeks notice and my last day would be May 18th. He said this date because it coincided with the end of the pay period. I was okay with this. Then they asked for their equipment (laptop, etc) to be sent to them before they would mail any salary checks or my expense checks for April and May. I told them that without knowing how much they owed me I could not send equipment back. I would be happy to send back as soon as they gave me an amount in writing of what they owed.

    If I can take a further step back here...I never signed any letter of employment from this company as I did not agree with some of the verbiage. I told them this when I started and they said they would re-work and send it again for signature. They never sent one back to me. So, upon my resignation demand that I know what I am owed before I send anything back to them they keep quoting this document I never signed. I have asked them to provide me a copy of this letter of employment that is signed by me. I have yet to see it.

    Now, since I have been demanding in my request they are having a non-disparagement agreement drawn up that they are asking me to sign in order to receive my last pay check and expenses.

    Do I have to sign this agreement in order to get paid? Since I never signed a Non-Disclosure or letter of employment can they force me to send their equipment back before I get paid? I was skeptical of receiving any monies after I sent their equipment back and I wanted to make sure it was in writing that they owed me the $5000 or so. They felt as though I was causing problems and they have said repeatedly they will take me to court and it cost me more than the monies they owe me. I only want to get paid what is owed to me and return their equipment.

    Any help or advice is much appreciated...They are trying to force me to do this immediately although I have not see this non-disparagement agreement.

    I am a Connecticut based salesperson that works for a Virginia based internet company.

  • #2
    They cannot hold your last paycheck hostage. You cannot hold their equipment hostage.

    This is like watching two children in a playground fight over a pail and shovel.

    Send them back their equipment. If you don't, you can be charged with theft by taking.

    If they do not send you your check, contact your local department of labor and they will do the heavy lifting. Let them threaten you with legal action all they want... they will actually be duking it out with the feds... and their legal team will beat up your former employer's legal team.

    State all of this in a letter attached to your return equipment. Do not, repeat do not, get cute and delete the hard drive or copy company documents. Everything on that laptop belongs to the company. If you have personal stuff on there, the company owns it.
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

    Comment


    • #3
      my real question was about

      Thanks for the reply. I have no intention of keeping anything. My real question was about the non-disparagement agreement they want me to sign now. Any help on that?

      Comment


      • #4
        Return the equipment now before they report it stolen. It is an unnecessary and dangerous complication. At that point, they are the only one's breaking the law by not paying you. If they refuse to pay at that point, file a wage claim. They will lose as long as you have not complicated the issue by holding their equipment.

        Regarding the agreement, sign it or don't sign it. As long as you do not have their equipment they have no legal leverage over you. They are legally required to pay you your wages and you are legally required to return their equipment. You are not legally required to sign their agreement. And at the risk of stating the very obvious, no one on this website has read your agreement and it is not very likely that most of us feel comfortable about commenting on the detail of an agreement we have not actually read.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

        Comment


        • #5
          Such an agreement is a contract. For a contract to have force, both sides must give and get.

          I see what the employer would get, but you would gain nothing that you are not already entitled to by law. If they do not pay you your expenses - and only in California is there a law that insists they do so - you take them to small claims court and sue them for the amount plus legal expenses.

          Their threat of complying with the law if you sign the document doesn't hold water.... they will comply whether you sign or not.
          Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

          I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

          Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by salesman101 View Post
            Thanks for the reply. I have no intention of keeping anything. My real question was about the non-disparagement agreement they want me to sign now. Any help on that?
            But you ARE keeping your company equipment. You say that you will be willing to return it if the company does this or that.

            That would be a very tough position to defend in a court of law. You would have to prove that you were REALLY going to return the equipment eventually... which doesn't fly very far.
            Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

            I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

            Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

            Comment


            • #7
              Looks like DAW hit the nail on the head on this one. Return the equipment and quite the school yard mentality. Forget the agreement if it wasn't signed prior to the employment what good is it now. Follow through with the DOL if you are not paid as agreed and get on with your life.

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree with the other posters - you need to return their equipment. If you don't get paid, then put in a complaint with your state's labor dept.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                Comment

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