Playboy Whistleblower Receives $6 Million for Wrongful Termination
Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Mar 10, 2014 in Employment Law
Catherine Zulfer, 56, was found to have been wrongfully terminated in 2012 by her former employer, Playboy Enterprises, after reporting suspected fraud and additional improprieties in 2010.
Zulfer, the companys controller at the time, refused to give bonuses in excess of $1 million to top Playboy executives when they were not approved by the board. In a year that Zulfer described as one of, substantial losses, the Zulfer reported what she suspected to be fraud to management.
After her complaint, the treatment Zulfer described convinced the jury she had been discriminated against for her age and retaliated against for coming forward. Zulfer alleged that the Playboy CFO Christof Pachler pressured her into issuing the bonuses and when she did not he began to set her up for failure. Zulfer, a 30-year employee at Playboy, was excluded from meetings and terminated when the company claimed they were reducing employees that had been with the company for over 10 years as a way of cutting costs.
The jury's decision to award Zulfer $6 million, and possibly more in punitive damages, marks one of the largest whistleblower cases under 2002 legislation to protect employees who suspect fraudulent behavior.
Stewart Bell, PLLC handles qui tam/ whistleblower claims for any employee that believes there impropriety or dishonesty in their company. Our employment law yers have the skills and knowledge to help. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your whistleblower case.