Maybe this Cypress outfit re: IKEA will do for Burbank what it’s already done for Glendale…
Hmmm. Are they the ones that got rid of the frogs?
Btw, check this out here. It’s an employee lawsuit lodged against this same company a couple of years ago.
The particulars are interesting (a top female managing attorney is alleging pay discrimination). But what’s really interesting is the first part, which details the financial particulars of this company in 2012-2013.
It sounds like they could be highly over-leveraged. They’ve been buying up distressed or low-performing properties all over the place lately (Town Center, Glendale Marketplace, The Paseo in Pasadena). But how?
And what does this mean for the possible futures of these projects?
Has staff been checking out the financial stability of this company, before they enter whole hog into enthusiastic negotiations with them?
[Plaintiff] Blackburn contends that, after she became General Counsel, she continued to work on many of the same tasks and projects that [former Counsel] Shelton had previously undertaken, and that she performed this work under similar working conditions. Nevertheless, Cypress paid her significantly less than it had paid Shelton. Blackburn maintains that she brought this salary disparity to [CEO] Maguire’s attention on several occasions, asking Cypress to increase her salary so that it would be comparable to Shelton’s.
She contends that, during the summer and fall of 2010, Maguire acknowledged that Blackburn was underpaid, and he assured her that her compensation would increase to a level commensurate with her position. In May 2011 Maguire allegedly told Blackburn that she would “get a big raise when we get some investor money in.” D. Br. 17 (bold font omitted). As of July 2012, however, Blackburn still had not received a raise, and she continued to make her entry level salary of $140,000…
Throughout 2012 Cypress engaged in negotiations with a potential investor that it believed would inject much-needed equity into the company. During the final stages of these negotiations, the investor submitted on September 20, 2012 a due diligence request seeking a list of all Cypress employees and a complete set of “material employment related agreement[s] and documents,” including employee nondisclosure agreements (“NDAs”). D. Br. 26. In response to this request, CFO Parro contacted HR Director Ball on September 24, 2012. Parro told Ball that he needed copies of all employment-related signed documents, including NDAs, as soon as possible.
Ball’s audit of Cypress’ personnel files revealed that six employees, including Blackburn, had failed to sign several of the documents covered by the investor’s due diligence request. That same day, Ball sent all six employees an identical message stating that “[d]uring an ongoing personnel file audit, the attached information was not found in your file records. To complete the audit on your individual file, the missing information is needed as soon as possible.” D. App. 509. Ball attached to the memorandum Blackburn alleges that, from July 2012 through October 2012, she was “shunned” by Maguire and other male senior executives. P. Br. 6. She also maintains that her expense reports were scrutinized and that she was questioned and criticized for working remotely.
It’s interesting reading. Where did they get their magic infusion of cash?
Plaintiff is fascinating too. She even has a patent, or is holding it for someone else.