The Inbox, pre-Turkey Day edition
Here at the Suits by Suits Western Hemisphere Nerve Center, we’re anxiously preparing for our Thanksgiving Day celebration. Our planned parade down Constitution Avenue celebrating all things executive-employment-related has, however, had to be cancelled in the wake of many battles with former participants. We’re still fighting an employment discrimination claim from this guy, although we keep telling him we didn’t fire him because he was green – that’s not a protected class, anyway – but because he was moving too slow on the parade route. This weird critter demands severance pay, and that’s just ridiculous. Also, Mr. Dough-guy here wants reinstatement, even though business reasons required us to give him the (buttered?) knife in the wake of the Nation’s growing carb-consciousness.
And don’t even get us started on the personal injury litigation that followed this fellow running into a light post. Bah-humbug to all of it, and pass the turkey and trimmings --
But let’s start with the cheese plate: A Wisconsin company that makes dairy processing equipment is “looking to reach a settlement” with a Minnesota company that won a $22.8 million judgment against it; the jury found that the Wisconsin company hired employees from the Minnesota one who brought with them confidential design information and other trade secrets.
In two whistleblower suits involving government entities: 1) a state employee wasn’t a protected whistleblower when she was fired after it was determined her job wasn’t in line with the federal funding that paid for it, the First Circuit Court of Appeals holds; but 2) Georgia’s whistleblower statute expressly waives the defense of sovereign immunity – so Fulton County, Georgia can’t use that defense against two whistleblowers, says the Georgia Supreme Court.
A dispute over stock redemption goes to arbitration instead of litigation, based on a non-compete: A former executive of Valerus will have to arbitrate his claim that the company forced him to liquidate his stock under a severance agreement, because a prior partnership agreement included an arbitration clause, a Texas appellate court held.
Forbes on whistleblowers: An interesting analysis of the SEC’s whistleblower report from the financial services media company here. Key line: “a lack of clarity concerning the scope of the Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation provisions raises questions as to whether the SEC will continue to see the increase in tips it has experienced to date.”
Whatever it is, there’s a whistle blowing inside: We’re not sure what a “vitrification plant” does – sounds scary or kinky, or both – but a manager at one in Washington State says that the plant’s operator is retaliating against her again, two years after she filed a whistleblower complaint.
If you are interested in more information about legal issues involving executives and their employers, on December 10, 2013, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP partners and Suits by Suits contributing editors Ellen D. Marcus and Jason M. Knott will present a webinar titled “Whistleblower Watch: Big Issues in the Latest Whistleblower Cases Under Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the Internal Revenue Code.” In the session, Ms. Marcus and Mr. Knott will discuss the basics of these whistleblower and anti-retaliation provisions and address new developments in the law, including the Sarbanes-Oxley case currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. To register, click here.