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I am in "negotiations" with a former employer. There are written (text message: "You will be paid on X and Y when/if they close) agreements in place for 2 of my deals. One just closed, the other in-process. The employer is being very difficult. His lawyer negotiates with me one day then claims I am owed nothing the next. I have confirmed that one deal has closed and I would like to get paid.

Can he/lawyer try to use the payment to me as leverage, for example, offer to give me that payment only if I agree to sign a non-compete or other document? I'd like to know the legal standing of such a move on their part. Thanks.

  • To follow up on this question...would it be wrong to call what this lawyer is doing "extortion" and threaten to report them for such a thing? They have 2 examples, in writing, of their client stating that I would be paid...and yet they are still trying to extract some kind of settlement and/or concessions from me before paying me what they owe me. – Sizzle Feb 26 at 20:04
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Can he/lawyer try to use the payment to me as leverage, for example, offer to give me that payment only if I agree to sign a non-compete or other document?

The employer ultimately ought to comply with the written agreements between you two. The employer is not allowed to belatedly impose conditions that alter (to your detriment) the contract(s), let alone when you are no longer his employee.

The clause "You will be paid on X and Y when/if they close" does not reflect whatsoever that payment is contingent on your acceptance of a non-compete agreement. Your description does not reflect any legal merits that would justify your employer to further withhold the compensation to which you are entitled pursuant to the deal/sale that got closed.

The employer and his lawyer are just being vexatious.

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