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  1. #11
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Ex-Wife/Boss: Tolerate/Stay or Go

    Quote Quoting AsAmDivorce20
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    I would be accepting a 20% pay cut if I stayed on the job.
    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    If you quit you won't be eligible for unemployment compensation.
    Not true. A 20% cut in pay provides good cause provided all the other requirements in a quit are present. As you well know my story when my compensation package was cut 22.9%. I got UI.

    Also, for a NJ claimant, he has the added protection that when you quit over a change in working conditions, even if the work is still suitable after the quit, you're only penalized with a 4-wk DQ in a "refusal of suitable work."

    https://www.lsnjlaw.org/Jobs-Employm...tary-Quit.aspx

    "Your employer changes the terms of your employment

    If your employer significantly changed the terms of your employment (or offered you a different position), and you quit because you were unhappy with the new terms, you should be able to collect unemployment benefits if the new wages, hours, job duties, job location or other conditions of work offered were so undesirable that any reasonable person would want to leave. If you are in this situation and apply for unemployment benefits, the NJDOL will have to decide whether or not the new work offered was “suitable.” If the new terms were “unsuitable,” then you should receive benefits. But if the NJDOL finds that the new terms were suitable and you were wrong in not accepting the new terms, you will be penalized by having to wait four weeks (from the date you filed your claim) before receiving any unemployment benefits. "

    That's pretty much a slap on the hands to get out of a bad situation.

  2. #12

    Default Re: Ex-Wife/Boss: Tolerate/Stay or Go

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    So...are you the OP who also posted something similar as the departing CEO in a similar medical practice?
    Nope, that wasn't me. My previous posts asked about kicking my cheating wife out of the house which was summarily shot down and I thank you all for the sage advice as it also violates marital status quo which I did not understand at the time. Then my other post was about the risks of her running off with the children if I granted a name change that would effectively give them a different identity in Asian countries.

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    You are in a bind as far as ownership goes. You cannot own or be a shareholder in a medical practice as you do not hold a medical license. She can sell the business and there isn't anything you can do about it as you are an employee.
    Right, and I have no intention of taking ownership of the business from her. I want my equitable distribution from the business's value as it is firmly a marital asset by the divorce laws of NJ, at least return all that seed money to my mother, and then disassociate myself completely from the business we started together. I don't want to be anywhere near that place when her reckless actions inevitably gets herself in trouble.

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    Divorces are stressful. I'm sure that you infuriate her and I'm sure that you are both dealing with one another dishonestly.
    I can say without reservation that I've been above board for most of this divorce. Aside from gathering and withholding the incriminating evidence that she continues to generate through her own actions, I've been otherwise transparent as much as fair, which is to say I've only started withholding financial information when she refused to reciprocate for information already delivered to her. Conversely I've caught her hiding financial information relevant to the divorce and her argument was that it was not relevant to the divorce based on her own legal judgement (pro se) so she didn't offer it. She's wrong of course, but it illustrates her intention to be as not-transparent as possible. Also I have documented proof showing the multiple lies she's tried to sell including the affair itself. Through her I've decided that there is no point lying about things because there's always discoverable evidence otherwise so I am approaching this whole ordeal with as much honesty and transparency as possible.


    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    Since you both live and work together there is no break. Now your incomes are inextricably bound up together and you each threaten each others livelihood. All in all, this seems to have been an extraordinarily bad plan.
    As mentioned above somewhere, she moved out leaving me and the kids and used it as an excuse to give herself a raise. I am not in a position to threaten her livelihood though. She has irregular control of mine while I still remain employed by her. It is this extremely one-sided power dynamic that she is using to harass me since I no longer kowtow to her whims as I did as her husband.

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    As noted above, your wife can simply fire you and it will not be wrongful termination. She can also alter your salary, since you are the employee and she is the owner, absent any contract. If I were her I would have done so immediately upon the collapse of your marriage.
    This would've made me eligible for emergency pendante lite support. I really wish she had done that. But from the responses here, it's clear I would not have a wrongful termination case so I'll give up on that. Does she have a case against me if I quit without notice? It would only be fair if she also did not have retaliation power.

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    If you're worried about the company being undervalued, for the purposes of divorce, the you are the one who will have to spend the money to show otherwise.
    If this is true, do you know if that can be half-reclaimed in divorce court? I'll post that question in the appropriate section of the forum at a later time. It wouldn't be on topic in the employment law section.

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    I haven't seen anyone ask what structure the business is. Is this a corporation, an LLC, or what?
    S Corp. She is 100% share holder. Why?

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    Finally, I would remind others here that we are presented with well colored, one-sided accounts. I suspect that there is far more to this story than we are being told.
    I have already admitted I am being careful with what I present here in case she's lurking on here and learning my entire legal strategy. I'm trying not to provide too much identifying detail so that coming here for help doesn't hurt me in the end, but I'm willing to share what I can to help get informed advice in return. Also I'm trying to focus certain details of this post to Labor Law and would have much more to say in the Family Law sections about the ugliness of our situation, so I'm trying to stay on topic.

    After reviewing all of your opinions and conferring with my divorce lawyer, the conclusion appears to be this:

    In terms of labor law, as an at-will employee, there is nothing technically illegal with what she's doing. There is no case for retaliation for either her terminating my employment nor myself quitting at any time from a labor law point of view.

    In terms of family law, she will flagrantly affect the marital status quo without cause so she will owe me emergency pendente lite support instead. She will have to pay me for not working there as alimony instead of salary. She should not be able to challenge an alimony judgement from a labor law perspective.

    If anyone is curious, I can report back here when this specific issue is resolved.

  3. #13
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Ex-Wife/Boss: Tolerate/Stay or Go

    Quote Quoting AsAmDivorce20
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    In terms of labor law, as an at-will employee, there is nothing technically illegal with what she's doing. There is no case for retaliation for either her terminating my employment nor myself quitting at any time from a labor law point of view.
    You are ignoring the unemployment law aspect. NJ is very generous on UI benefits. They pay approximately 60% of what you were making (provided you don't get capped because of max benefit) at a more favorable tax rate (no FICA) plus if you're dropping money on dry cleaning, work clothes, and uncompensated commuting time and expenses, you'll boost that percentage because of lower cost of living. Also, you say you're already being paid less than market with a 20% cut on the way. You might very well break even on UI, and be free of the possibility that she's just going to keep heaping it on.

    You only have the protections of the UI system right when this happens. If you take the cut and the downgraded new duties to "think about it," that's treated as acceptance, and you're stuck with it. You don't get to complain about it later.

    Go back and talk to your attorney.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Ex-Wife/Boss: Tolerate/Stay or Go

    Quote Quoting AsAmDivorce20
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    1. Would she have grounds to terminate me if I simply chose to ignore her official notice?
    As a matter of employment law she does not need "grounds" to terminate you if she is your employer. All she needs is that the reason not be one that the law prohibits.

    Quote Quoting AsAmDivorce20
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    2. Would I have a case for wrongful termination?
    A wrongful termination is a termination for reason that the law prohibits. The prohibited reasons include firing you because:
    • of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, or genetic test information under federal law (some states/localities add a few more categories like sexual orientation);
    • you make certain kinds of reports about the employer to the government or in limited circumstances to specified persons in the employing company itself (known as whistle-blower protection laws);
    • you participate in union organizing activities;
    • you use a right or benefit the law guarantees you (e.g. using leave under FMLA);
    • you filed a bankruptcy petition;
    • your pay was garnished by a single creditor; and
    • you took time off work to attend jury duty (in most states).

    The exact list of prohibited reasons will vary by state. But firing you because you refuse to do work given you by your employer or just because your employer is divorcing you and doesn't want you around are not reasons prohibited by law in any state and thus would not be a wrongful termination.


    Quote Quoting AsAmDivorce20
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    3. Can I just quit immediately without notice?
    You may quit any time you like. You are, after all, not a slave and she cannot keep there and compel you to work. You of course do need to tell her you quit (i.e. give notice) but you certainly can make that effective immediately. There is no requirement to give the classic 2 weeks notice (or whatever other time frame).

    Quote Quoting AsAmDivorce20
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    What retaliation could I expect from that?
    You know her, your financial condition, and the business far better than I do and thus you are in the best position to guess what she might do.

    What effect her termination of you, or you quitting, would have on the divorce is another matter and something for which you ought to consult your divorce attorney. Absent temporary orders that require that everything, including your employment at the business, stays the same it may be that her termination of you would not greatly affect the outcome. I wouldn't see it impacting the division of assets, though as you indicated perhaps it might result in a period of some alimony. But your lawyer would be the best one to ask about that as he/she knows the details of your divorce and the applicable state law much better than I do.


    Quote Quoting AsAmDivorce20
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    My divorce lawyers do not often enough come across this type of incredibly one-sided, imbalance of power in a divorce this contentious so they are not sure what to advise from a labor law standpoint.
    If they've not seen much in the way of bitter divorces then they must not be very experienced. There are a lot of those out there. My colleagues that practice family law have tons of stories of those, and I've seen some of those in my own practice advising cients on the financial and tax aspects of divorce. I certainly wouldn't expect them to be experts in employment law, but they should know at least the basics that I outlined above. As a matter of employment law, her termination of you because she does not like you as a result of the divorce would not be a wrongful termination. So she could do that and not have to worry over wrongful termination. You would likely be eligible for unemployment benefits in that case, however, which might cause her UI tax rate to go up. So if she fires you, apply for unemployment benefits. There is no downside to doing that and it is the state, not your employer, that decides whether you get benefits.

    The bigger issue would be what impact that would have on the divorce, and your divorce lawyers certainly ought to be able to tell you how that would likely work out.

  5. #15
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Ex-Wife/Boss: Tolerate/Stay or Go

    Quote Quoting AsAmDivorce20
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    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: New Jersey

    Background: We are getting divorced. Our business, while completely under her name, was founded during our marriage and had a lot of my mother's money invested to start it. nt.
    Many of you responders are really missing the legal point that the business was founded during the marriage and that OP's mother provided the seed money. OP owns half the business (perhaps more because of his mother's seed money). Unless there is some agreement to the contrary.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Ex-Wife/Boss: Tolerate/Stay or Go

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    Many of you responders are really missing the legal point that the business was founded during the marriage and that OP's mother provided the seed money. OP owns half the business (perhaps more because of his mother's seed money). Unless there is some agreement to the contrary.
    I don't think anyone is missing that. It just has nothing to do with the OP continuing to work or not.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Ex-Wife/Boss: Tolerate/Stay or Go

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    I don't think anyone is missing that. It just has nothing to do with the OP continuing to work or not.
    And, as a medical practice, the OP cannot own any share of the business as they are not a licensed medical doctor. The OP owns no part of the business legally as it is prohibited. The OP can argue that the business is a marital asset and they try to claim a share but the OP is not an owner or a partner.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  8. #18
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Ex-Wife/Boss: Tolerate/Stay or Go

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    Many of you responders are really missing the legal point that the business was founded during the marriage and that OP's mother provided the seed money. OP owns half the business (perhaps more because of his mother's seed money). Unless there is some agreement to the contrary.
    That's not technically correct. The OP said that the business is a S-corp 100% owned by his wife (which means a LLC or corporation that has elected to be taxed as a S-corporation). Thus, she is the sole owner. He does not own any part of the business. Since he lives in NJ, an equitable division state, what he likely has in the event of a divorce is a marital interest in the business. A marital interest is not the same thing as ownership. His marital interest may lead the court to award him actual ownership in the LLC or corporation in the divorce, though.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Ex-Wife/Boss: Tolerate/Stay or Go

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    As noted above, your wife can simply fire you and it will not be wrongful termination. She can also alter your salary, since you are the employee and she is the owner, absent any contract. If I were her I would have done so immediately upon the collapse of your marriage.
    Is there some type of legal strategy in this or would you have done that simply out of spite?

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Ex-Wife/Boss: Tolerate/Stay or Go

    Quote Quoting Victory VI
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    Is there some type of legal strategy in this or would you have done that simply out of spite?
    This is partly informational and, as to termination, I would've fired my soon to be ex spouse who was also my employee. If you're so finished with someone that you're willing to divorce them why on earth would you continue to work with them everyday? It's not necessarily a legal strategy, it's simply a personal observation.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

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