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How to Decline settlement offer

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Latest post Wed, Jun 16 2010 9:47 PM by Drew. 3 replies.
  • Wed, Jun 16 2010 8:11 PM

    • sarahshaw
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, Jun 16 2010
    • IN
    • Posts 4

    How to Decline settlement offer

    I am suing my former employer for failing to pay me my last two paychecks. Under the laws in the state of Indiana I can also qualify for trouble damages. I have submitted my claim and my court date has been sent, obviously since I am on here I do not have legal representation.

    I received a call from a lawyer representing my former employer who tried to have my verbally agree to settlement over the phone to which I requested a written document on official letter head. The document I received is about four pages long with tons of legal terms, not to mention a few subtle threats about "termination of employment do to breach of contract (which to my knowledge I was not-but thats a whole separate  issue) may result in me having to pay restitution up to 3x lawyers fees...etc."

    My question is, how to I turn down the offer without turning it down and without saying anything that can be used against me in court. I want to say something along the lines of, "since I do not understand legal terms I do not feel confident etc. signing documents without ...." and something about wanting to present offer in court and leave it up to judge what would be in my best interest.

    I'm also scared of being counter sued, however given the situation (without going into detail), I feel that the judge would favor me over him.

    On a separate but related topic, apparently since my former boss's name is on the sign and he is the person who handles all pay, founder of company etc, I put his name not company name when I filed. Apparently I wasn't supposed to? How damaging is that to my claim?


    Thank you for your help!


  • Wed, Jun 16 2010 8:34 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 3 2000
    • CA
    • Posts 28,248

    Re: How to Decline settlement offer

    It's treble damages, which means three times.

    There is nothing fancy about how to turn it down. And you can;t turn it down but not turn it down - it is one or the other.

    If the business is a corporation you have to sue the corporation, not the individual. You can probably amend the pleading.

  • Wed, Jun 16 2010 9:32 PM In reply to

    • Cica
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Sep 23 2003
    • Posts 6,520

    Re: How to Decline settlement offer

    Considering it's a wage thing, isn't DOL handling it for you?  Or are you specifically making this a small claims issue?  If so, and if you are still within the statute of limitation, you might try filing with DOL.

    If not, have you considered bringing your complaint/settlement offer to an attorney for review?  Many give free initial consultation, or charge a small fee.  The retainer fee doesn't come unless they represent you.

  • Wed, Jun 16 2010 9:47 PM In reply to

    • Drew
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    Re: How to Decline settlement offer

    Layman guess:

    Your practical problem is that up against a pro your odds are those of a rubber knife in a gunfight .

    You are free to reject a settlement offer. In theory if you say anything re settlement its not supposed to be used against you--system is supposed to encourage settlements--but in practice if you say/write it it wil lbe twisted against you.

    If you say you don't understand, you give enemy free ammunition! A simple no gives enemy  few clues.

    You are supposed to name the proper employer --and if you don't get it right/file for correction, whatever, that may be good grounds to wrong enemy to get it tossed...and you need to restart.


    The law probably leans in your favor as to 3X damages for employer to intentionally fail to properly pay.

    I'm not in your state--but in mine to file via Dept of labor and Industry by law mandates that employer  pay your attorney if you win--so why take a rubber knife to wrong fight if rules say employer must pay your hired gun if you win on right fight grounds?  Its like you double the employers downsides to continue a fight he is bound to lose--presuming you are confident you are right that he didn't pay you. .


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