Monday, June 30, 2008

and then there's this

So, on Monday the 16th I left everything from my last job on the front porch to be picked up. My lawyer friend advised me not to hand everything over unless I was meeting with them and they handed me a check simultaneously. I thought about it and decided I just wanted the stress over. It's two weeks later and I am still waiting for the check from them - a significant amount, 7 weeks pay, plus a hefty reimbursement from my last few travels for them. I need that. Turns out the stress is actually higher. Last week their lawyer wrote me and said I'd be paid in full today. I just sent a strongly worded e-mail asking where my money might be and asking them to please take into consideration my high risk condition and I certainly hoped I wouldn't have to take the (dum dum dum) "next step." Which is sue their asses. GARRR.

Money is weighing heavily on my mind these days, mostly cause there's another money situation I sort of hinted at before from my husband's last job. To recap the situation briefly - my husband left his start up company at the end of March, having had an affair with his direct report. He was one of the top 4 people in the company, super close friends with one of the other 4, friends with another, and became friends with the 3rd. He worked there about 4 months longer than he should have, to finish out a project.

About a month after he left the job, he got a form letter from the company. He was owed a small sum in paying out his vacation. He also owned many shares of the company, and they were suggesting they pay the vacation plus the shares out at 1/6th of their value. The cover letter referred to "unspecified violations of company policy." About 6 months before, the company fired one of their employees, and bought out the guy's shares. And now they - my husband's friends - were sending my husband the exact same letter.

Two points - my husband left the company of his own volition. AND, the stupid company, to avoid paying corporate tax, had awarded extra shares to the top people at the end of 2007. Awarded AS INCOME - which meant we owed a HEFTY tax bill on those damn shares.
We paid more in tax than they were offering in their form letter.

So, we hired an employment lawyer. She walked through everything. Even if they had found out about the affair, there was nothing that said violate company policy and your shares are no longer worth their value. The other guy had taken the bad deal - he needed the money. We did not (at the time, ha), and this was insulting. The lawyer wanted to write the company a letter, or call them, but my husband wanted to call them himself. He felt going legal on them wasn't the best first approach.

Believe it or not, this situation with his company probably brought he and I closer together than anything else had. Common enemy and all that.

He called and the head guy, his friend, hemmed and hawed. My husband asked what were his violations of company policy? President responded, um, he had only given two week's notice, not a month. (??????) Husband replied that had nothing to do with value of shares. They left the call with the president saying he'd be back in touch with a second offer, he had to go to the Board, etc. That was 2 months ago.

At the time, I was willing to let the shares ride - we could consider them one of our investments. But our situation has changed. And more importantly, I'd still be willing to consider them an investment - if all parties explicitly agreed. We've heard nothing back.

Friday night my husband told me he had to put the car insurance on credit card. And guess what? Our 6 month car insurance payment is almost exactly equal to the value of his unused vacation. After a few weeks of holding my tongue, I couldn't anymore. I told him I had done some really hard things fighting for the money from my last job, and he needed to do the same. My husband said it was different, I had been screwed over and was OWED the money I was fighting for. I said what about his unused vacation? He was legally owed that. And what about CONFIRMING an agreement to let the shares ride? Oh, and what about the expensive retainer we had given the lawyer? If he wasn't going to pursue anything, could we at least get that money back?

I probably should not have brought all this up. But his last job, the affair, everything it's cost us - me - has been eating at me while I've been fretting and worrying over my own money situation. If we hadn't had to pay that tax bill and attorney retainer, my cash reserves would not be depleted. We'd be sitting on enough to last us an extra 2-3 months. That's what burns me more than the value of those shares - the amount we're out because of his stupid company. But, as much as I hate his nagging me, he doesn't need me nagging him. At the same time, he can't screw his family yet again because of that last job.

I just got a reply back from my former job's attorney. Let me look into it, there is no intent to do anything untoward, hang on.

I hate how money is becoming an obsession with me. I'll feel a LOT better when I've got those 7 weeks of pay to stretch out.

eta: lawyer says check is in Fed Ex to be delivered tomorrow. I sure hope so. And then, lucky me, I get to wait another fucking week for a large out of state check to clear. But still - better to have it than not. Though I'd still rather have, you know, my JOB.


k@lakly said...

FWIW, going to the state Labor Board is free and they will be able to get the money owed pretty quickly, plus interest and penalties.
Money stress, SUCKS ASS. Whoever said wealth doesn't matter has never had the experience of living paycheck to paycheck...or worse.

Also, not that you don't already know this, but your hubands 'friends' are not who he thinks they are, as they are obviously not looking out for him one bit. They are former colleagues who will do what is best for their company, not an ex employee. If not the Labor Board,I'd lawyer up, fast, otherwise it's just going to drag on and on as long as they have the $$ and your h isn't using anything with teeth to get what's his.

CLC said...

I am sorry you are dealing with this stress now too. Money stress is the worst. I hope your check comes today.

I hope your husband comes to realize that these people are no longer his friends and go after what is rightfully his. Greed is an ugly trait and that's what they sound like.

Lisse said...

The hardest thing about being unemployed is not knowing what's going to happen next. How long and so on - you can't enjoy the time you have off.

I was thinking about your husband's new employer. If they can't hire you right away, would they be willing to talk contract owrk so you could at least have some money coming in?