Business Law Term Paper

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McGurn v. Bell Microproducts Inc. 284 F.3d 86 (Massachusetts) ISSUE OF THE CASE Bell Microproducts, Inc. mailed to McGurn an offer of employment that stated that if McGurn were terminated without cause during the first 12 months of employment, he would receive a severance package of $120,000. McGurn crossed out 12 and replaced it with 24, and signed the contract. Bell did not acknowledge the change that had been made to the contract and hired the applicant. McGurn was terminated without cause 13 months later. FACTS Bell Microproducts is a distributor of semiconductor parts and components with headquarters in San Jose, California. McGurn is a resident of Massachusetts. In March of 1997, Bell's President, Donald Bell, met with…show more content…
The letter included a termination clause stipulating that “if your status as an employee with Bell Microproducts is terminated within the first 12 months of employment for any reason other than gross misconduct, upon termination you will receive a six-month severance package.” In response, McGurn drafted his own proposed offer letter, dated July 2, 1997, which included a paragraph on termination “for cause,” defined as conviction of a felony or gross negligence or misconduct on the job, and a paragraph on termination “without cause,” which was open-ended: “The Company may terminate your employment without cause. In such event, you will continue to receive your base salary for a period of six months following your termination of employment, and you will receive an additional lump-sum amount equal to $40,000 or 50% of annual incentive.” McGurn faxed his proposed offer letter to Murphy. McGurn's next contact with Bell was his receipt of an offer letter dated July 3, 1997, signed by Teague. The letter included the following paragraph on termination without cause: The Company may terminate your employment without cause. In the event that this occurs within your first twelve months of employment, you will continue to receive your base salary for a period of six months following your termination of employment, and you will receive an additional lump-sum amount equal to $40,000 or 50% of annual incentive. The letter
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