May 16 2014

Courtroom Success 2014-22: Boston Partners Wes Marshall and Matt Henning

:   Boston Partners Wes Marshall and Matt Henning obtained reversal of a decision by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RIDLT.) The firm’s client, a former facility manager for a company which, among other things, treats and transports sludge from wastewater treatment plants to various solid waste landfills for disposal, had been denied unemployment insurance benefits to which he was entitled.  The employer alleged that the employee had violated a company “policy” by allowing sludge to be transported to a landfill in violation of state environmental regulations.  Prior to the firm’s retention, RIDLT had ruled that the client’s termination was been based on “misconduct” and on actions which were “not in the employer’s best interest."  However, it was successfully argued on appeal that 1) no company “policy” been violated, and 2) the regulatory non-compliance, which presented no threat to human health or the environment, was not “intentional misconduct” as defined by the RI Employment Security Act or by the higher standards set by the RI Supreme Court.   In addition to full back payment of unemployment insurance benefits, in view of an ongoing government investigation of the alleged failure of the company to comply with environmental regulations, it was important to our client that his record has been cleared of any finding willful violation of these regulations.   

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