Lawsuits claiming wrongful termination are a dime a dozen. But how about a lawsuit that essentially accuses a fired employee of wrongful employment?
That's the gist of a suit filed by U.S. Card Partner Services against its former sales director, Drew Scopelitti. The company claims Scopelitti misrepresented his qualifications for the position and that he "utterly failed to competently and faithfully perform the duties" of his position, according to the suit, pending in federal court in Delaware.
The company is seeking "a minimum of $300,000," including the $90,000 Scopelitti was paid during his 8-month tenure and "at least several hundred thousand dollars" in lost revenues and profits the company would have received had Scopelitti competently performed his job.
Among other things, the company alleges in the lawsuit that Scopelitti "failed to meet minimal expectations concerning contacting prospects... regularly failed to timely submit... information concerning his purported marketing efforts; failed to manage, or even attempt to manage, sales representatives whom he was supposed to supervise; made an inordinate number of personal telephone calls during work hours to such persons as his girlfriend and sister; spent an inordinate amount of time engaged in personal iPod-related activities during work hours; failed to successfully market Card Programs... failed to accept and implement directions given to him by Plaintiffs senior management regarding approaches to marketing Card Programs; and generally failed to exert in his job duties the level of effort reasonably expected of him by Plaintiff."
Paul Regan, associate professor at Widener University School of Law, told the News Journal of Delaware that the claim for damages is "startling," but he called the suit a plausible, if unusual and aggressive, use of contract law.
"Are they trying to send a message to middle managers? To put the fear of God into the rank and file?" Regan said, adding that company officials might be hoping to get some money back by frightening employees into increased productivity.