Wigdor LLP has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Long Island-based gear-and-socket company Designatronics, Inc., its parent company, Dyson Dyson & Dunn, Inc. (DD&D), and its president and CEO Robert Kufner, on behalf of a former Designatronics Vice President, Wayne Martin.
Mr. Martin was hired by Designatronics in 2013 as Vice President of Operations. He alleges that the company retaliated against him by terminating his employment after he made numerous complaints to HR regarding Mr. Kufner’s discriminatory conduct and sexually harassing behavior. The complaint outlines that Mr. Kufner was fired on April 10, 2017 as a result of these and other complaints, only to be re-hired a few months later, upon which he immediately and unlawfully retaliated against Mr. Martin by terminating him within just a few hours of returning to the office. Mr. Martin, who was fired on July 10, 2017, was not provided with any basis whatsoever for his termination.
The lawsuit states that Mr. Kufner’s unprofessional and discriminatory behavior include repeatedly using the “n-word” to describe black people, calling women with larger bodies “fat slobs”, touching female employees without consent, and making remarks about the sexual orientation of employees. Additionally, the complaint alleges that Mr. Kufner shirked almost all of his responsibilities and spent countless hours of company time playing online video games, thereby forcing Mr. Martin and other employees to carry out his jobs for him.
Moreover, according to the complaint, Mr. Kufner would intimidate employees who he learned had complained about him and constantly brag about his close friendships with executives at DD&D in order to appear “untouchable” and to instill fear in other employees who might have otherwise reported his misconduct.
Mr. Martin is represented by Wigdor LLP Partner David E. Gottlieb and Associate Alex J. Hartzband. David Gottlieb said of the lawsuit:
“The whistleblower laws provide employees with protection against retaliation, and while Mr. Kufner’s friends at the company may protect him, we believe a jury will be appalled by his blatant retaliatory conduct.”