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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Just Received Certified Letter from Former Employer's Attorney

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: New York

    My problem is as follow, I worked at a company for two years. When I took this job I was desperate and it didn't matter at that moment that the employer was not paying a good salary (below the actual salary range at my career level) and not paying by check only cash and avoid taking out any taxes. I was never given a W2 form or signed any documents that stated that I was an employee at this company. For two years I was the one who did secretarial, product design, sales and personal assistant to this boss. There were only 3 employees including myself so I did 95% of the of the activities and duties there. My position required to deal with case sensitive information which I always kept non-disclosed. I not only worked incredible hours from 9:00am until whatever time the job was done (some times I went home at 11:00pm), got paid like worst than the pizza delivery guy but this employer verbally abused me and crossed the professional line to become personal. I stay there because I wanted to gain experience for my resume. Eventually I became tier physically and emotionally and decided to search for a new job. I found one and they hire me on the spot and gave me just two days to quit the other job. Since I was really upset the day before I started my new job I sent my former employer a letter stating that I was quitting because I found a new job and thank her kindly for all. Well, this employer went haywire and didn't stop for an entire week emailing me about how I left her dry and standing when she needed me the most and how she was fair and nice and given to me and I was evil to leave. Today I have received the following letter from her attorney: Recompany's name)
    Dear Ms. X:
    Please be advised that I represent your former employer (company's name). As a result of your abrupt departure from (co's name), this letter is to remind you that (company's) sourcers and customer/client lists are confidential proprietary information and constitute trade secrets. Should you attempt to use this confidential proprietary information for your own benefit, or the benefit of any individual, company or organization other than (company), (company) will have no alternative but to institute litigation to enjoin you from disclosing (company's) confidential and to seek monetary damages resulting from any such disclosure.
    Moreover, you may impermissibly be in possession of some (company's) files which contain confidential proprietary information and trade secrets. If you fail to return all of these files by the end of the week, (company) will have no choice but to begin legal proceedings for their return.


    I have never disclosed any of this company's information and I do not have any documents or files that belongs to this company. I tried emailing my former boss and asked to tell me which files she is claiming I have. She didn't return my email, tried contacting her attorney he didn't answer my phone calls. I want to know what can I do about this, how can I proceed with this and is this procedure legal even when she never had me signing non-disclosure agreements of any kinds?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,357

    Default Re: Just Received Certified Letter from Former Employer's Attorney.what to Do

    "I do not have any files or other documents owned by the company. I am not planning on disclosing any proprietary information. Please do not contact me again."

    Then report the company to the IRS, the state Dept. of Labor, and the state Unemployment Commission for misclassifying you as an independent contractor and not reporting your wages and withholding and paying over taxes as required by law.

    See how the attorney likes THAT.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lake Chapala
    Posts
    2,959

    Default Re: Just Received Certified Letter from Former Employer's Attorney

    I've read this letter through several times and I don't see where it accuses you of breaching confidentiality or of stealing files. It seems to be a simple reminder not to breach confidentiality, and a statement that if you happen to have any of your former employer's property, you should return it.

    If you haven't breached confidentiality and don't have any of your former employer's property in your possession, I don't see any problem here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Just Received Certified Letter from Former Employer's Attorney.what to Do

    I agree with Patty and would add, when reporting this employer to the Department of Labor, include a wage claim estimating the actual hours you worked per day and/or per week. If you really worked 12 hour days for two years, you should have a large overtime paycheck coming your way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Just Received Certified Letter from Former Employer's Attorney.what to Do

    Thank you so much for both of your answers I will surely follow your directions!! Believe me I know so many more bogus things this employer does that I am sure if I spoke to the proper government agencies she will be so out of business tomorrow!!!! Thank you!!!!

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