deal. The king, played by the inimitable Yul Brynner, uttered the
previously mentioned quote.
Similarly, it is nice to see that the 4th District Court of Appeal
is upholding a promise in an employer- employee debate. This is the
matter of Lynn Agosta, who was working as an account executive at
Clear Channel Communications when he was enticed to come to work for
the Astor Broadcast Group.
The enticement of Mr. Agosta was done quite artfully, as he was
offered a $6,000 monthly salary along with a 2.5% managerial
commission and 1% equity in the station. These terms represented the
final negotiations as the initial offer to Mr. Agosta was for far
less. Mr. Agosta was hired as a general sales manager, a title with a
great deal more cache than the title of account executive.
Now, to the good part. His employment contract had an at-will
provision. An at-will provision generally has been construed to
permit employers to discharge employees at will, in other words, at
Less than a week after he began working, Mr. Agosta was told that
along with being a general sales manager, he would have to act as an
account executive as well. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Astor told Mr.
Agosta that he was going to withdraw the financial agreement and
rework one much more to his liking. The end came three weeks into Mr.
Agosta's employment, at which time Mr. Astor sent Mr. Agosta an
e-mail telling him he was fired.
Needless to say, this did not sit well with Mr. Agosta, who had
given up a lot to come to Mr. Astor's radio network. Mr. Agosta sued
and the case was thrown out. The court held that since Mr. Agosta was
an at-will employee, he could be fired anytime and for any reason, or
no reason at all.
The good news here is that this was reversed by the Appellate
Court, which stated that one who hires and then fires an employee
under these circumstances can be liable for fraud. The Appellate
Court ruled that the case should have not have been dismissed merely
because of the at-will provision. As stated perfectly by presiding