Can I file for back consulting services and work related compensation, if I was in a relationship where I put many many hours of time and work to start my partner’s day spa?

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Can I file for back consulting services and work related compensation, if I was in a relationship where I put many many hours of time and work to start my partner’s day spa?

I used my contacts, specialized skills and labor to set up systems, services, marketing and products. The agreement was initially that I would help do al these things in an effort to eventually be able to quit my full time job and be a part of the business and reap the rewards of it’s success. I took a full time job so that he could quit his job, the company I worked for provided health insurance benefits for both of us. This was again for the promise of being able to growth the business. I have proof of all the work I did for the company.

Asked on December 26, 2013 under Business Law, Hawaii

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

There are some theories under which you could recover, such as for breach of contract (an oral agreement is an enforceable contract, though there are certain issues with it that do not exist with a written contract); promissory estoppel (if you reasonably relied to your detriment on the promise of your partner, which promise was made to make you act to your own detriment, the promise may be enforceable); and/or unjust enrichment (if it would be palpably unjust to allow your partner to "keep" the fruit of your work without you getting fair compensation). Note that none of these are as strong or clear cut as if you'd had a written employment, etc. agreement, but it's still worth pursuing. You should speak with an attorney who handles business litigation to evaluate your case and options.


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