And I’m gonna hate this one – or am I? Here are your cruise director’s thoughts on the current accrued vacation debacle and what I plan to do on Monday:
1. Bankruptcy. I hate to say it, but right now the best thing for the S.S. Heller Ehrman might be bankruptcy. Please calm down and listen to my argument:
- Right now the shareholders claim that the bank is calling all the shots. Not exactly true. The shareholders have some wiggle room in terms of the cash on hand and the accounts receivable that they expect to collect and where that money goes.
- Realize that in all likelihood, the shareholders – in order to get the line of credit they currently have – had to make some type of personal assurance to the bank, and perhaps even to the landlords.
- The goal of the shareholders is to channel as much money as possible to the banks to pay off the loan to remove their personal guarantee.
- After they are off the hook, personally, the shareholders are counting on you and me to basically tell them to “f*ck off” and walk. Businesses play this game all the time. Mail in rebates are given in the hopes that 50% of the recipients will either forget or not provide a receipt etc. thus the liability to the company is not as much as expected. Our shareholders expect you and me to throw up our hands and either a) start taking the vacation we’ve accrued so that it doesn’t have to be paid out at the end or b) just take our final check and hopefully go away quietly.
- The shareholders can take the firm into bankruptcy voluntarily which means they’d like to think that they call all the shots, can help appoint a trustee etc.
- If there are any employees who either are a) terminated as of today and did not get accrued vacation or b) are willing to leave the firm and see if they get accrued vacation, I’d like to hear from you concerning a filing to force Heller into involuntary bankruptcy. Email me at email@example.com.
- If Heller management is complaining now that their hands are tied, just wait until the firm is in involuntary bankruptcy. Neither they nor the banks will be able to direct what happens, where the money goes, etc.
- Fully expect the shareholders to then complain that it is the fault of the employees since they forced the firm into involuntary bankruptcy. Bullsh*t. We are simply protecting our interests which are guaranteed by law – not trying to weasel out of commitments to save our own *sses.
2. Dissolution Counsel – Echoes of Brobeck?
Realise that the counsel secured by Heller management to advise the Dissolution Committee is Greenberg Traurig
, the same counsel used by the Brobeck partners to help screw over their own loyal employees. I know that Heller shareholders hate hearing and seeing themselves compared to Brobeck but if the shoe fits . . .
3. Shareholders Personally Liable. Keep this in mind in terms of any type of claim you file against the firm. Do not list “Heller Ehrman LLP.” List the shareholders individually beginning with Matt Larrabee. If you need a list of shareholders currently here at Heller Ehrman please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be absolutely delighted to send you the list. This may apply only in California but it is worth checking this out for all states where we intend to file claims.
4. Contact Bank of America and Citibank. I know this might sound a bit crazy, but if you have your personal or other accounts at Bank of America or Citibank, contact them concerning this issue. Make a fuss. Threaten to pull your money out – at this time with the credit crisis, they don’t want to hear that. If someone can provide me with direct contact numbers to those people at Bank of America and Citibank that handle Heller’s line of credit, please email me at email@example.com
5. Confront A Shareholder. And I mean this in the nicest way. On Monday go to your shareholder or if you are support staff and don’t work for a specific shareholder, go to any one of them and say:
“I want you to know that I am reporting for work today and am available to help the firm wind down its business in an orderly manner. I don’t understand why you feel that I am not entitled to the wages that I’ve earned. I am not leaving until I make sure that our clients are taken care of and the business of the firm is taken care of. I am not leaving early, I will not be forced into taking vacation, I am not walking away.
I am willing to hold you and the rest of the shareholders personally responsible and will do so using every venue and legal option available to me.
I’m disappointed that you and the rest of the shareholders have made certain decisions to protect only yourselves and not to give your loyal employees what they rightfully have earned. I know you as a person and your past behaviour and the past behaviour of the firm contradicts what is happening currently and I am confused and angry and rightfully so.”
It ain’t over, I ain’t out.