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My Situation - Texas

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  • My Situation - Texas

    I work for a small business with 60 employees and am currently on paid suspension, which began 3.26.10, while there is an investigation into a situation that occurred in which I did not mismanage my position nor violate any company policies. Of course, Texas is at-will so I know that they can terminate my employment without cause but they sent me an email this morning stating that they are still discussing a formal plan for my continued employment and they'll get back to me as soon as it is formalized.

    I also know that they broke some copyright/licensing laws because they've knowingly installed an academic version of Microsoft Office 2007 on all 60+ computers because this version was about $200 cheaper per computer than the Office Business/Professional version....I know all this because I was the IT Administrator.

    I have the feeling that they are going to try to penalize me in some way for this situation, even though they are also to blame because they implemented the policies, so if I do not like this new "employment plan," how do I legally tell them that I want a 3 month severance package without making it sound like I'm bribing them over this Microsoft issue? It's in their best interest to do a severance since I'll have to sign a separation agreement which will stop me from being involved in any civil suits, right?

  • #2
    There is no way legally to compell them to offer any severance let alone 3 months. Using your knowledge of the saftware package as leverage is called extortion and is very much illegal. There is also no guarantee that if severance is offered that you will need to sign anything and certainly no guarantee that if you do sign something it will address this situation.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


    • #3 that what extortion is...What if I just tell them that "giving me a three month severance pay is cheaper than the consequences of giving me an involuntary termination."???

      Is there anything illegal about saying that?
      Junior Member
      Last edited by eddiemendo911; 03-31-2010, 09:32 AM.


      • #4
        Re: My Situation - Texas

        Basically, I'm asking for some advice on the legal wording I should use to present this to them. How do I tell them that I will tell Microsoft unless they give me good severance? Can I hint around it without actually saying it?


        • #5
          There is no "legal wording" that gives you a pass to commit an illegal act. Threatening to tell on them unless they do what you want is extortion, as ElleMD already told you.


          • #6
            Originally posted by eddiemendo911 View Post
            Basically, I'm asking for some advice on the legal wording I should use to present this to them. How do I tell them that I will tell Microsoft unless they give me good severance? Can I hint around it without actually saying it?
            As you've been told, there is probably no "legal" wording to make your efforts to blackmail your employer legitimate. If your personal and professional ethics are such that you will condone the use of unauthorized software until it suits your purposes to do otherwise, you also probably don't care about the wording being "legal".

            If what you're asking for is legal advice, you ought to pay an attorney to become complicit in your scheme. I'm done here.


            • #7
              If you were the IT Administrator and installed the software on the computers then you were involved in the illegal act. So if you were to report them to Microsoft it would look bad for you as well.

              I had an employee recently who tried this type of blackmail with my company. It was a demand for severance (very specific, how much per check on what day) or the former employee would talk to the town officials about things we were doing that she thought were against the law. She was a manager and oversaw the things she now thought were illegal.

              We turned her letter over to an attorney who informed her that if she provided false information we would sue her for slander. The letter also mentioned the illegality of her actions and that no severance would be forthcoming.

              Keep in mind that if you make the request, your former employer could legally tell any future employer who calls for a reference what you did.


              • #8
                **** guys sure are Debbie Downers. Thanks for the advice.


                • #9
                  Just trying to save your reputation.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


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