Payton Employment Law, PC Files Whistleblower Retaliation Lawsuit Against Slync.io
Payton Employment Law, PC filed a lawsuit that alleges Jason Selvidge was locked out of the company’s operations system and terminated from his high-level position at Slync.io for reporting then CEO Chris Kirchner to the board for failing to pay employee wages and other improper conduct. After the wrongful termination case was filed, FORBES broke an in-depth story about the company, Kirchner’s seeming misuse of funds, and the ongoing failure to pay employees. (To read the article, click here: Golf Tournaments, A Private Jet And A Red Ferrari: A Tech CEO Lived Large While His Employees Went Unpaid (forbes.com))
Additional articles about this lawsuit can be found here: Slync.io fires CEO Chris Kirchner, strips board chairmanship - FreightWaves; Lawsuit Says Chris Kirchner Used Slync as ‘Personal Piggy Bank’ – Sourcing Journal; Supply claims Slync.io CEO retaliated after suspension - Supply Chain Risk Management
Only after legal and public pressure did Slync.io’s board of directors take remedial action, removing Kirchner from his positions within the company and the board.
Slync.io provides a software platform that enables companies to automate documentation, carrier management, and other backend logistics operations.
As the Vice President of Engineering, Jason Selvidge, was in a position to notice and highlight to the board the improper conduct taking place at Slync.io and should be awarded protections as a whistleblower against the retaliation by the Company and persons acting on its behalf.
In the lawsuit filed on his behalf, Selvidge asserts claims against Kirchner and Slync.io for wrongful termination in violation of public policy, breach of contract, failure to pay minimum wages, failure to pay wages promptly after termination, liquidated damages, and unfair business practices. This action stems from the allegations of retaliatory termination of Selvidge, by Kirchner, for reporting Kirchner’s unlawful conduct within the Company. The conduct reported included: Kirchner knowingly and repeatedly failing to pay wages to employees when owed, issuing payroll checks with insufficient funds, and using company assets, from external funding, as a personal bank account for Kirchner’s own use and benefit.
While Slync.io employees started to disclose their discontent over the missed paychecks just the month before, Selvidge noted in the lawsuit that he first noticed the issue early on at the time he joined the Company, with late pay between the months of August and September of 2019, but that the new failure to pay wages timely in 2022 was occurring after the company had secured what should have been ample operational funds.
Selvidge stated employee payroll issues reemerged despite the company making a profit through a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in April 2020, and a Series B announced in February of 2021.
After Slync.io failed to pay owed wages timely over the course of seven late or missed pay periods from April 22 to June 3, the CFO Samar Kamdar was first fired after reporting payroll issues to the board of directors. Then, Selvidge wrote a letter to the board of directors outlining the extent of his concerns and the need for intervention. As a result, according to the lawsuit, he was locked out of his corporate accounts.
The lawsuit then claims Kamdar was terminated after he complained to the company investors about Kirchner inaccurately reporting the amount of annual revenue Slync.io was making to the company investors by a factor of thirty or more.
Kirchner is reported to have inflated the company’s financial situation to the board, claiming Slync.io had earned nearly $30 million in 2021. However, the actual company revenue is reported to be only a mere $1 million.
All of the profit from the Series B the company received 17 months prior was entirely gone, even though Kirchner assured employees via email back in May 2022 that there was enough money for the company to not only continue operating, but to actually be successful. Kirchner was the only company executive with access to the corporate investment account.
After Kamdar voiced his concerns regarding this financial reporting to the board, Kirchner fired him in the same manner he subsequently fired Selvidge.
After reporting the lack of transparency and failure to make payroll to the Board, Selvidge found he was functionally terminated from the company. He was locked out of his corporate email, calendar, and other accounts without any semblance of explanation from anyone he contacted at Slync.io, including Kirchner, other executives, and the human resources department.
Since the filing of the lawsuit, Kirchner has been placed on leave and removed from his board position.
Payton Employment Law, PC partners Chantal Payton and Laurel Holmes are representing Selvidge in his wrongful termination lawsuit.
In addition to Slync.io, Kirchner is also being sued individually as a part of the lawsuit. This is because California permits individual liability in cases where individuals were directly responsible for the failure to pay wages. Additional liability may be incurred by individual owners if Slync.io was knowingly undercapitalized, and thus did not have sufficient funds with which to operate and pay corporate debts and liabilities, including payroll.
The lawsuit filed claims Kirchner used corporate assets for personal use and intermingled liabilities and obligations between himself and Slync.io. Where other owners were aware of this and permitted the conduct to continue, they may have liability for deliberately undercapitalizing the company’s operations.
Payton Employment Law, PC takes unwavering pride in assisting whistleblowers and victims of unlawful workplace conduct, regardless of what that takes. The Firm handles all kinds of employment cases, including those that come from an employer’s discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, unpaid wages, overtime, commissions, failure to provide legally compliant breaks, and other violations of the California Labor Code.
Furthermore, the Firm also handles wage and hour class action and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) cases in which violations of the California Labor Code are widespread and affect multiple employees.