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NY Court:Trial Not Needed to Find Employee's Contract Was Breached


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1/1/2016
Jonathan Cooper
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It is one thing to declare that an employee - or an executive - was fired "for cause." It is quite another to prove it.

And that is precisely what happened in Kleinman v. Blue Ridge Foods, LLC, a breach of employment contract and breach of fiduciary duty case that was published in today's edition of the New York Law Journal. In this case, the defendant claimed that the plaintiff defrauded them by misstating his work experience in an effort to land the job as their CEO, when he in fact was "in completely over his head."

There was just one "small" problem with the defendant's contentions that this formed the basis for their firing him "for cause": they didn't abide by any of the conditions called for in the employment contract before they could fire him "for cause." Simply put, the defendant did not articulate any basis for plaintiff's discharge, nor did the defendant abide by any of the notice provisions set forth in the agreement.

In other words, they decided to fire the plaintiff, and to figure out a way not to pay what they owed him afterward.

And the judge in this case refused to go along, and therefore awarded partial summary judgment to the plaintiff on his breach of contract claims - even before a plenary trial.



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