Employee Rights

Pollard PLLC has extensive experience litigating, arbitrating and resolving a wide-variety of employment law matters in Florida state and federal courts and beyond. The firm has a separate page dedicated to its extensive non-compete practice. With respect to employee rights, the firm focuses on executive transitions and high-level wrongful termination matters. Representative recent matters include:

  • Representing former CFO of publicly traded company in litigation related to his non-compete agreement and former company’s efforts to claw-back and/or cease separation payments.
  • Representing COO of multi-million dollar privately held company in negotiating corporate buyback of his membership interest and release of his non-compete agreement.
  • Representing Senior Counsel of publicly traded company in resolving threatened claw-back of bonus compensation tied to non-compete obligations.
  • Representing employee who was sexually assaulted by her manager in prosecuting $20 million negligent hiring and supervision claims against Fortune 100 company.
  • Representing former general manager of major retail chain in negotiating confidential pre-suit resolution of age discrimination (ADEA) claims for $500,000.
  • Representing former sales executive in negotiating confidential pre-suit resolution of sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims for $250,000.
  • Representing healthcare fraud whistleblower in negotiating resolution of wrongful discharge claims.

Executive Transitions

Pollard PLLC has represented numerous Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Senior Counsels in a wide variety of litigation, arbitration, dispute resolution and advising. This includes C-level executives and high-ranking in-house counsel of multiple publicly traded companies. In today’s world, most executive-level employees are guaranteed to face two issues, particularly when separating from one company and moving to a new venture: First: Compensation issues. Disputes between companies and executives over compensation are incredibly common, particularly during the separation phase. Second: Competitive restrictions. In today’s world, most corporate officers and executive-level employees are subject to at least some competitive restrictions, with many subject to outright non-compete agreements. Often, these two issues – compensation and competitive restrictions – are intertwined. Clients routinely call upon the firm’s principal Jonathan Pollard to negotiate a release or limited-release of post-employment restrictions and payment of disputed compensation, or, to pursue litigation or arbitration if necessary. Pollard and his team routinely represent individuals against the nation’s biggest companies and have earned numerous victories over some of America’s largest law firms.

Wrongful Termination

Pollard PLLC accepts a limited number of wrongful termination matters each year, and only when the facts are truly compelling. Over the years, the Firm has successfully represented plaintiffs in matters involving age, gender, and race discrimination, workplace sexual harassment and sexual assault, and whistleblower retaliation. The firm has successfully resolved numerous claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”); the Florida Civil Rights Act (“FCRA”); and the Florida Whistleblower Act (“FWA”).

In evaluating potential employment discrimination cases, the Firm looks for the following factors: (1) A relatively long and stable employment tenure with the company (at least 3 years). (2) Documented evidence of excellent job performance (e.g. favorable annual evaluations, promotions, awards or other positive recognition). (3) Clear evidence of discrimination that is directly related to an adverse employment decision, e.g., termination, demotion, compensation, salary, work conditions, etc. To be clear: Some employees automatically claim discrimination in the face of any adverse employment decision, when that is simply not the case. The firm has zero tolerance for frivolous discrimination claims and rejects more than 95% of all potential employment discrimination matters. But in the small number of employment discrimination matters that Pollard PLLC accepts, the Firm is committed to investing the time and resources necessary to obtain the best possible result, whether through negotiation, litigation or arbitration. When an employee proves their discrimination claim, that employee may obtain damages in the form of back pay, front pay, limited damages for emotional distress, attorneys’ fees and – in particularly extreme instances – a limited amount of punitive damages depending on the company’s size.

Because Title VII, the ADEA and the FCRA limit damages for emotional distress and punitive damages, it is imperative to consider not only traditional employment discrimination claims, but also any other non-discrimination claims that may exist. The Firm has been involved in numerous discrimination or wrongful termination cases where the individual also had claims for, e.g., assault and battery, negligent hiring, defamation or other common law claims. Unlike with discrimination claims, there are no damage caps on these common law claims.

The following are examples of some of the most compelling employment matters that the firm has encountered over the past several years:

  • Age discrimination in violation of the ADEA: 60-year-old store general manager terminated and replaced with 30-year-old. Ten-year track-record with the company. Outstanding performance reviews. Repeatedly promoted upward. Documented evidence of decisionmakers making comments about replacing “old hags” with younger, more attractive representatives.
  • Quid-pro-quo sexual harassment in violation of Title VII: Female sales representative terminated. Three-year track record with the company. Star performer. She refused to sleep with her regional manager. She was then singled out for increased sales quotas. Although she outperformed other similarly-situated sales representatives on an absolute basis, she did not meet her sales quotas (which were entirely unreasonable and incommensurate with the targets for everyone else).
  • Quid-pro-quo sexual harassment & retaliation in violation of Title VII: Young female employee in the retail sector rejects her manager’s repeated sexual advances. Eventually, she reports him to corporate HR. The manager’s father works in corporate HR. Within two weeks, HR advises her of various, allegedly “long-running” problems with her job performance. A month later, she is terminated “for performance”.
  • Sexual assault in the workplace by a repeat offender: Large retail chain terminates an employee based on allegations that he engaged in sexual harassment and sexually assault against coworkers. The Company’s own records indicate that he was terminated for gross misconduct and not to be rehired. As a result of nepotism and family connections, the employee is rehired and promoted to a position of authority. He then repeatedly sexually harasses and sexually assaults a subordinate employee.
  • Whistleblower retaliation in violation of the FWA: Employee reports billing irregularities in a healthcare-related business. The company is billing time for services that are not performed and for appointments/visits that did not occur. Within 30-days of her initial reporting, employee is terminated for “performance”.