California residents may have heard about a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania by the former CEO and president of the insurance company, Highmark. According to the wrongful termination lawsuit, the former CEO alleges that his firing by the Highmark Board of Directors in 2012 was wrong because he did not violate any of the company's policies.
In a complaint that was filed in a Pennsylvania county court, the former CEO is suing for pension and severance payments in the amount of $25.8 million. He is also asking to be awarded $6.5 million for damages.
According to the complaint, the reason for the termination stems back to a relationship the former CEO was having with another company employee. He stated that, although the woman was married, he was not her direct supervisor and the relationship was consensual. The insurance company reportedly terminated his employment because he got into an argument with the employee's husband, which resulted in the CEO being arrested and charged with defiant trespass and simple assault. Those charges were dismissed after he pursued anger management treatment.
The complaint states the former CEO informed the Board Chairman of the affair and was reportedly instructed to fire the woman, although the board denies it. He refused, saying that it might be considered sexual discrimination. A spokesman for the company said that Highmark intends to defend against the allegations because the company had sufficient reasons to terminate the man's employment.
When an employee is wrongfully terminated from a job, it may be beneficial to consult with an attorney. The attorney might review the reason he or she was fired and determine if termination was justified. If so, the worker who was wrongfully terminated the attorney may file a lawsuit against the company.
Source: Pittsburgh Business Times, "Former Highmark CEO files $32M wrongful termination lawsuit," Justine Coyne, Sept. 3, 2015