The firm’s managing director also allegedly reneged on the fired partners’ buyout agreement.
Three former partners at a Minneapolis area law firm have filed a lawsuit against their firm’s president, claiming they were fired for supporting former President Donald Trump.
Minnesota Public Radio reports that that the three plaintiffs—identified as attorneys William Kain, Margaret Henehan, and Kelsey Quarberg—are collectively claiming that they were wrongfully terminated.
According to the lawsuit, the attorneys were partners at St. Paul-based Kain and Scott. They say that the firm’s president, Wesley Scott, was greatly upset by the January 6th riots outside the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Shortly afterward, Scott allegedly directed his operations manager to fire two employees he believed were racist, as they had expressed support for former President Donald Trump. When the manager refused, Scott fired her and another employee, too.
Scott, says Minnesota Public Radio, then fired the partners after they told them that it is illegal to fire someone for their political beliefs.
The lawsuit states that Scott was so upset that he threatened to call law enforcement to remove Quarberg—who was pregnant—from her office.
Scott then cut off the terminated employees’ access to their email accounts and firm-associated cell phones; he also changed the locks on the office.
After the partners were fired, Scott told the firm’s other employees that the partners had been removed for insubordination.
“We have three employees […] who are way over the top, violating everything that is dear to us, and I won’t let it happen,” the lawsuit quotes Scott as saying.
The lawsuit alleges that, since firing the partners, Scott has tried to prevent them from collecting unemployment and health care benefits.
On top of that, the lawsuit notes that the firm’s ownerships is now uncertain: between them, the three partners held a 50% interest in the company.
While the complaint states that the fired partners had negotiated a buyout under Scott and Kain’s partnership agreement, it also claims that Scott reneged after agreeing.
“Scott engaged in conduct at the firm that was inappropriate for an employee, let alone the president of the firm,” the lawsuit says.
Altogether, the fired partners are seeking a number of legal remedies, including back pay and benefits, as well as a judicial order to dissolve Scott and Kain. The lawsuit also requests that the partners be compensated for their shares under the dissolved buyout agreement.
Scott told the Star-Tribune that he has not yet seen the legal complaint, and could not offer any comment to that media outlet until he has the chance to read it.