Naples, FL asked in Employment Law, Business Law and White Collar Crime for Florida

Q: Unjust Enrichment-gave up 50% of pay for share of incremental purchase price but then owners refused to pay.

As CFO of a business being sold, the owners of this business requested I take a 50% pay cut in return for splitting the incremental purchase price savings (about $1M) directly tied to my salary reduction. There is clear evidence of how my salary reduction contributed to $1M additional purchase price. On the day of the closing, the owners fired me and retained the entire incremental purchase price (about $1M) as a result of my pay reduction. My Employment Agreement required they pay me one year's severance (over $200k) of which they are paying. Do I have an Unjust Enrichment claim given they fired me (at will) before my pay reduction went into effect and they are now paying me severance? Can they argue that I was not deprived of anything because they fired me before I was paid the lower salary and they are now paying me severance.

2 Lawyer Answers
Jane Kim
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  • Naples, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You can't be an employee at will and have an employment agreement.

Further, you may have several claims but obviously you need a consultation with a lawyer to understand your facts, review documents and advise accordingly.

Good luck.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: There is no "unjust enrichment" here.

When you signed your "at-will" employment agreement you agreed to the termination of your employment at any time in return for a full year's salary, which you are receiving.

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