California Labor and Employment Defense Blog

Associate Sues Skadden For Wrongful Termination -- Green v. Skadden Arps

A labor and employment law associate who was fired from the LA office of Skadden Arps has filed a lawsuit against his ex-employer for retaliation and wrongful termination. 

According to the complaint in Green v. Skadden Arps, Mr. Green wrote an internal performance review in which he accused his own boss and another associate of being "incompetent."  His employer allegedly did not appreciate Mr. Green's dedication to an unvarnished "upward review" process and he was promptly fired for his "poor judgment" in rendering such an "intemperate review."  

The Complaint contains some references to Mr. Green's alleged complaints about vacation and sabatical policies.  But the main thrust of the Complaint is that Skadden supposedly violated public policy by terminating his employment in retaliation for giving a "factually accurate performance review."   As a labor and employment attorney the plaintiff (who is representing himself in pro per) presumably recognizes that there is no public policy protection for internal complaints that other employees are "incompetent."

My guess is that the 50-page Complaint is intended more as a privileged forum for a detailed public airing of the alleged mismanagement, incompetence and deficiencies of his former employer and colleagues.  I can't say the case offers any profound lessons (except that calling your boss "incompetent" is a bad career move).  But anyone who is, or was, an associate navigating the politics of a Big Firm may find the whole affair has a certain voyeuristic entertainment value.             


Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
Comments (1) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Living wills and trusts - April 20, 2009 12:25 PM

Performance reviews are meant to give workers constructive criticism. However, there are times when workers will take this criticism personal and may become defensive, as this case shows. Perhaps an employer should create a disclaimer stating that the review is not meant to degrade the worker at all, but yet designed to allow one to grow and develop.

Van Vleck Turner & Zaller LLP, 6310 South San Vicente, Ste. 430, Los Angeles, California 90048

Phone: 323.592.3505 | Fax: 323.592.3506