Category: Executive Compensation

Erasing Employer Files Costs Employee Severance Pay

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which presides over Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, recently held that an employer could deny employee his severance benefits under an ERISA benefits plan because the employee erased certain files from his computer before returning the laptop to the…

A Former VP of Operations Ordered to Pay $1.9 Million for Taking Company’s Trade Secrets in Violation of a Separation Agreement

According to some studies, more than 60% of employees copy their employers’ documents or files before leaving their employment. They are even more likely to do so if they had been laid off, fired, or passed over for promotion. With senior executives who have access to top level…

Business Owners Alert: State Minimum Wage Increases in 2016

While the minimum wage in Texas will remain the same in 2016, those Texas companies that have employees in other states, need to be aware of the following minimum wage (and overtime) increases.* Given the recent increase in unpaid overtime lawsuits around the country,…

Steve Sarkisian Files Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Against USC Trojans; Claims Discrimination Based on Alcoholism

In early October, the University of Southern California fired Steve Sarkisian, its head football coach after an incident where he appeared drunk during a speech at a USC event. Copies of hotel and bar receipts allegedly showing Sarkisian’s alcohol consumption far exceeding the norm spread…

Negotiating Employment Agreements or the Real Reason Jennifer Lawrence Got Paid Less Than Bradley Cooper

Somebody recently went through Sony’s hacked e-mails and found some that show Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were paid less than the male leads in American Hustle. This prompted Jennifer Lawrence to write an essay titled “Why Do I make Less Than My Male Co-Starts?” She…

Where CEO Drinks and Sleeps with Employees, A Company Is Not Required to Allow Him to “Cure” His Behavior Before Termination

In Duncan v. Woodlawn Manufacturing, Ltd., the company fired the CEO after he became intoxicated at a work dinner charged to a company credit card and asked a subordinate employee to kiss him. The CEO sued the company for breaching his employment agreement, which required a company…

Is Sales Commission Part of an Employment Agreement? Make it Clear and Put it in Writing. This Goes for Employers and Employees.

A recent case from the Houston Court of Appeals demonstrates how failing to document the exact terms of a sales commission arrangement can result in a loss of such commission for an employee and a costly legal dispute for an employer. In Colter v. Amkin Technologies, the…

A Texas Company’s Chairman is Personally on the Hook for $1.3 Million for Hiring a COO Without Board Approval

Earlier this month, the First Court of Appeals  in Wilmot v. Bouknight upheld an award of $1,337,500 against a company executive and the chairman of the board who hired a chief operating officer (COO) for a 5-year term knowing that he did not have the authority…