The Inbox – October 18, 2013
- James Whitney, the former CEO of Illinois-based Tallgrass Beef Company has sued the company and its owner Bill Curtis for unpaid wages. Whitney claims that he was not paid his regular wages starting in 2011 and was never paid his final compensation, and seeks to hold Curtis personally liable. The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act is not unusual in providing that an officer of a corporation can be found personally liable to an employee for violating the Act if the officer knowingly permitted the corporation to violate the Act.
- Dan Allen and the defense contractor CACI, where Allen had been CEO, agreed to modify Allen’s separation agreement to reduce his lump-sum cash severance from $1.6 million to $1 million, and, in return, his non-compete agreement has been made less restrictive. The company’s SEC filing describing the modification can be found here.
- Amicus (or friend of the court) briefs are pouring into the Supreme Court in the case of Lawson v. FMR, which is set for oral argument in November (see our own Jason Knott’s most recent post on the case) and raises the question of whether the Sarbanes-Oxley Act protects employees of privately-held contractors and subcontractors of public companies from retaliation when they blow the whistle on suspected fraud. The WSJ reports that business groups and a group of former SEC officials (including former SEC Chairman Christopher Cox) are lining up on the side of the court finding that the employees are not protected, while the National Whistleblowers Center and other pro-whistleblower groups are lining up on the other side.
- We found interesting this commentary in Corporate Counsel earlier this week about reasons that companies with employees who blog at work should be mindful when considering whether to fire those employees for their blogging – including laws in some states that make it illegal to fire an employee for expressing political views, and federal and state laws protecting whistleblowers (including “whistlebloggers”) from retaliation for raising concerns about unlawful conduct in the workplace.