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I work as an Employee and around 1 year ago I was promoted to be a Director and shareholder within the business.

Last week my boss asked me to call a meeting with the divisional managers he wanted employees who were currently on furlough to return to work (without pay). I did not agree with what he wanted to do however was forced to call the meeting.

As the meeting unfolded the managers were telling him that it was a bad idea, that would be breaking the law, because he wan't getting the answers he wanted he slammed his fists down on the table, stood up leaned over me and shouted with anger to the point I felt unsafe.

I decided without hesitation to leave the building, leaving my company car keys on the side. I phoned a friend and got a lift home.

An hour or so later I receive a phone call from one of the managers in the meeting telling me that my boss has said they are not aloud to speak to me, and if I try to contact them they should ignore me.

I receive a phone call a few days later from my boss's partner (who also works in the business) she tells me my boss wants my phone, and that they want me on furlough, I make it clear at this point I am still happy to work from home as I was previously however i'm told that they want me on furlough, so I handed back the phone as requested.

I then get a text a few days later saying, we're returning to work on Monday if we don't see you there we expect that you have left and will forward any personal stuff to the address we have on file. I respond saying that I am fully happy to return to work, they reply see you Monday at 9am.

When I get there I am called in to a meeting immediately he asked if I plan to hand in my notice or stay with the business. I explain that although I felt unsafe and feel as if I have been treated unfairly that I haven't yet decided what is best for myself, so at the moment I am happy to carry on.

I then get told I have two options.

1, Hand in my notice, resign as director and give back my shares, in return they will pay me garden leave for my notice period

2, That I don't resign and my boss fill fold the company ensuring I am liable for some costs.

I don't agree to either of these options and am told to go home and wait to hear from them. a few days later I get an invite to another meeting...

He changes his tune, I know have 2 different options.

1, Hand in my notice 2, Try to reconcile and return to work, however he has explained that my role would be different if I returned.

and that's where we are to date, he is waiting for a reply from myself. I feel if I decide to return to work next month I would get a letter of redundancy, he can't do that now as I would have a case for constructive dismissal but I wouldn't if I agreed to return and he knows that.

I feel it's unfair to hand back all my hard work for nothing, and that I have to find a similar position, when at the moment we are under lock down and the job market is at an all time low.

He has told me my shares are not worth anything unless the business was to be sold which he has no plans to do, so will not look at the option of buying me out.

What should I do?

(Thank you for anyone who took the time to read this, and to anyone who can offer their opinion)

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    Best advice is to lawyer up before you take any action or agree to anything
    – HorusKol
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 10:38
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    @HorusKol is right. Lawyer, lawyer, lawyer is the reply. Commented May 8, 2020 at 13:02
  • If the lawyer hears "I was physically threatened" - I think you didn't just feel threatened, you were threatened, that will put a big smile on his or her face.
    – gnasher729
    Commented May 9, 2020 at 12:55

1 Answer 1

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Truthfully, I don't think you should have run away from that meeting - that was where as a director of the company you should have had a backbone and talked the MD down from committing potentially unlawful acts for which, as directors of the company, both you and he could be held responsible.

Also, do not simply hand any shares back. Those are your shares, they should be bought from you and they entitle you to a share of any profits the company chooses to distribute as dividends. If the company is wound up it also entitles you to a portion of any leftover cash generated from the winding up of the company.

Get a lawyer.

EDIT: Remember, at this level that guy is not your boss, he is a co-owner. If the other shareholders are unhappy, and they have more shares than he does, they can remove him as managing director.

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    Yeah, running away just showed you cannot handle pressure, not a great look for a director.
    – Kilisi
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 11:48
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    @Kilisi OP can argue that he felt physically unsafe. I do not think that in today's time there is the expectation from anyone that one must accept having to physically fight, or being beaten up. In fact, had the boss become violent, and OP fought back, OP might even have been the one to get into trouble. OP had a good reason to leave by making it clear that they felt physically intimidated and aimed to avoid violence. It is irrelevant that other reasons may have played a role. Commented May 8, 2020 at 13:48
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    @CaptainEmacs I must have missed the making it clear part. From the OPs post, they just jumped up and ran without explanation or warning.
    – nvoigt
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 19:16
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    @nvoigt "he slammed his fists down on the table, stood up leaned over me and shouted with anger to the point I felt unsafe." - I cannot blame OP for seeing themselves in direct physical danger and trying to extract themselves from such a situation. The "making clear" is to us, not to the board of directors. They still could make this point clear to the company. You can not expect people to choose the right words quickly under duress. If the company is perceptive, they can see a major lawsuit threat behind the veil. Commented May 8, 2020 at 19:29
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    @CaptainEmacs no location given, but throwing tantrums is a marketing and negotiation tactic in some places. I worked for a guy who threw them several times a day. And been in many meetings where it happened in other places. Higher up the food chain you are the better you should handle unexpected things.
    – Kilisi
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 21:32

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