Candidate Acquired In A Merger? You Might Still Get Paid

Jeff Allen Collection TipEditor’s note: Jeff Allen has heard every employer excuse you can imagine for not paying up — and dozens more that defy imagination. A few years ago he began documenting them in a weekly collections column. Because of the importance of collections, Fordyce will periodically reprise the most common situations he addressed.

What Client Says:

We acquired rather than hired the candidate.

How Client Pays:

Merger mania has made many opportunities for machinations. The usual line is that since the client became or acquired another company, it acquired your candidate who worked for that company as well.

Don’t try to figure this out on your own. Gather as much information as you can for your attorney. First call your stockbroker. He’ll be able to access the records of publicly-held corporations and provide a wealth of information. Then, go online. Google the names of all businesses involved, all principals, and anything else you think might help put the puzzle together. Then check in your library for publications that profile businesses. Among them are:

  • Dun’s Business Rankings
  • The Facts on File Directory of Major Public Corporations
  • Moody’s Manuals (Banking and Finance, Industrial, Transportation, etc.)
  • Reference Book of Corporate Management
  • Standard & Poor’s Corporate Register
  • Standard & Poor’s Corporation Records
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Ward’s Business Directory

A merger or acquisition doesn’t necessarily affect your right to be paid. In fact, it often will accelerate payment if the transaction is being supervised by the SEC, FTC, or some other government agency.

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The issues are extremely complex, relating to such things as:

  • Liability for outstanding indebtedness of the merged or acquired company;
  • Whether the placement was sufficiently executed to invoke liability for the fee;
  • Whether the merger or acquisition included a transfer of all employees.

With sufficient information given to a sufficient attorney, you should be able to sufficiently recover your fee. Too many are lost in the amazing maze of these machinations.

Do your homework, then make your move. The vast majority of the time, there’s a full fee just waiting to be claimed!

More than thirty-five years ago, Jeffrey G. Allen, J.D., C.P.C. turned a decade of recruiting and human resources management into the legal specialty of placement law. Since 1975, Jeff has collected more placement fees, litigated more trade secrets cases, and assisted more placement practitioners than anyone else. From individuals to multinational corporations in every phase of staffing, his name is synonymous with competent legal representation. Jeff holds four certifications in placement and is the author of 24 popular books in the career field, including bestsellers How to Turn an Interview into a Job, The Complete Q&A Job Interview Book and the revolutionary Instant Interviews. As the world?s leading placement lawyer, Jeff?s experience includes: Thirty-five years of law practice specializing in representation of staffing businesses and practitioners; Author of ?The Allen Law?--the only placement information trade secrets law in the United States; Expert witness on employment and placement matters; Recruiter and staffing service office manager; Human resources manager for major employers; Certified Personnel Consultant, Certified Placement Counselor, Certified Employment Specialist and Certified Search Specialist designations; Cofounder of the national Certified Search Specialist program; Special Advisor to the American Employment Association; General Counsel to the California Association of Personnel Consultants (honorary lifetime membership conferred); Founder and Director of the National Placement Law Center; Recipient of the Staffing Industry Lifetime Achievement Award; Advisor to national, regional and state trade associations on legal, ethics and legislative matters; Author of The Placement Strategy Handbook, Placement Management, The National Placement Law Center Fee Collection Guide and The Best of Jeff Allen, published by Search Research Institute exclusively for the staffing industry; and Producer of the EMPLAW Audio Series on employment law matters. Email him at