Zooey Deschanel and Ex-Husband Sued for Wrongfully Firing Employee
Zooey Deschanel and her ex-husband are under fire for allegedly wrongfully terminating ex-employee Felicia Collins. Collins had filed a lawsuit against their company, Lettuce Grow, for lying to the public about charitable donations.
About Lettuce Grow
The well-known actress founded the business with her former spouse, Jacob Pechenik, and co-founder Greg Campbell to help families grow fresh produce at home. This sustainable approach for un-processed, chemical-free food has gained popularity over the years and increased access to healthy food in the U.S.
They are still offering an incentive program. For every ten “Farmstands” sold, the company claims to donate one to a school or non-profit organization. According to their official site, “Farmstands” are “self-watering and self-fertilizing” stands that make it easier to grow lettuce using 95% less water.
Collins was hired as Chief of Communications and Social Responsibility last year, according to Radar. In the lawsuit, her responsibilities included taking a leadership role for “the company’s social responsibility initiatives, and [oversee] their social giving program.”
At the time, she directly worked under Pechenik’s instruction. After seeing a spike in sales earlier this year in February, she claimed he told her to pause the giving program, meaning fewer people would receive the planter.
Months later, Collins voiced her concerns to him directly. She noted that the company was soliciting an idea and not following through on donations. According to the case, Pechenik responded to her confrontation by questioning if people had asked about them. He said, “No one is asking us about them. We don’t have to give them.”
As an employee, she felt she had a responsibility to be truthful to the public. Her wrongful termination lawyer claimed Pechenik told her, “He did not want to work with organizations on sustainability or to further transparency.” Instead, he “…wanted to give Farmstands away where he could get credit for it, like with A-list celebrities.”
According to Radar, her attorney also alleged the following information on behalf of Collins with supporting evidence:
Pechenik wanted credit for “giving.”
He suggested he was not getting enough acknowledgment at the company.
Suggested Collins (plaintiff) push to work with the Lebron James School, where he saw an opportunity to be highlighted for recognition.
Terminated For Doing Her Job
Like Collins, many face the same reality. She told Pechenik that she would donate stands to the proper charities before getting fired.
Her attorney for wrongful termination wrote: “Fundamental to plaintiff Felicia Collins wrongful termination is the company’s promise to the public to make its Farmstands available to all communities, not solely the affluent communities who can afford the “pricey” product.”
Now, Collins is hoping to retain damages, including emotional distress and lost wages.
Need Legal Help?
If you recently lost your job for confronting an employer about misconduct, or unlawful acts, reach out to a Los Angeles labor attorney for employees. For dedicated representation with no upfront fees, give us a call at 323-866-9564 or email email@example.com.