The CEO of the Greater Pensacola Chamber in Florida is taking legal action after he was ousted from his position by the chamber’s executive committee. He is seeking an improved severance package in compliance with employment law, according to news sources in the area.
Board members decided to allow the man’s contract to lapse. In their eyes, that action does not constitute termination of employment, but simply the expiration of a contract. The man’s attorneys disagree, however, calling the dismissal a de facto termination of employment. The man was never given the opportunity to negotiate new terms for his contract, nor was he given any reason for his unexpected dismissal. In addition, the committee held a secret official vote without discussing the contract. The man should have been included, as he is a non-voting member of that committee.
The man was informed his contract would not be renewed during a private dinner meeting in late May. News reports indicate that Aug. 15 should have been the man’s last day in office. The board had reportedly had difficulty creating acceptable terms for the man’s departure. Now, instead of a smooth transition of leadership, the Greater Pensacola Chamber could be facing a legal firestorm.
Reports show the man rejected a severance bid that would have paid him about $50,000, or a quarter of his annual salary. Instead, he is pursuing a nine-month salary payout, along with health insurance and other benefits. The man’s contract stipulates those terms in the event that he is fired without cause. He said he intends to pursue all relevant legal options if the board refuses his demands.
If you have received an unfair severance because you were unexpectedly terminated from your position, consider seeking assistance from a qualified employment attorney. These professionals can help you learn more about your legal rights, providing you with the money and assets you need to build a strong career future.
www.pnj.com, “Jim Hizer refuses Greater Pensacola Chamber’s exit offer” Nate Monroe, Aug. 15, 2013