Tense negotiations on a termination settlement

Tense negotiations on a termination settlement

Foundation X has a two-member board. The two board members, a general manager and a commercial director, disagree among themselves on policy and can no longer get along. They both report to the foundation’s Supervisory Board. Initially, the Supervisory Board starts talks with both directors to find a solution. However, the general director says he does not want to continue with the commercial director and would like to terminate their employment. The Supervisory Board sees no other option to go along with this in order to keep the peace within the foundation. The commercial director finds it unjust, reacts very angrily and emotionally and initially kept her foot down.

I am approached asking to bring the case to a successful conclusion. The desire of the foundation, represented in this case by the Supervisory Board, to reach a termination of the employment contract is not initially shared by the commercial director. She feels that she and the general manager can still reach a solution and she would like to continue her work. The foundation asks her to resign from her duties because her presence leads to too much unrest but she refuses.

The situation eventually leads to the foundation having to suspend the commercial director to keep the peace in the workplace, which initially increases mutual tension. The foundation, in consultation with me, is considering initiating proceedings to dissolve the employment contract due to a disrupted working relationship. In the end, because both parties do not want to end up in legal proceedings and because I, as the employer’s lawyer, am able to remain in discussion with the employee’s lawyer, we eventually manage to reach a termination arrangement, despite emotions initially clouding the view.

So after a tense process, during which things threatened to escalate at times, the parties still managed to stay in talks, eventually leading to a termination agreement.

This is an example of how, as a lawyer, I prevented the conflict from escalating unnecessarily and had a positive contribution to bring the case to a resolution.

Hian Li Ko

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