Ms. Russell also alleged that she was terminated on November 4, 2016 around 1:00 PM because “the firm had grown and their needs changed.” Ms. Russell was over the age of 55 when she worked for Broder & Orland and was required to be part of a defined benefit plan. This plan was implemented one year after Ms. Russell was hired. The firm acted as the fiduciary and had control of the operation and administration of the plan. Ms. Russell alleged in her complaint that she was fired in order to stop her from being properly vested and so that the senior partners could increase their contributions into the plan without paying her the same benefits. It is alleged that Broder & Orland, LLC violated their position as fiduciary of the plan by not acting in Ms. Russell’s best interest as a participant.
In other words the lawsuit alleges that Russell was fired by Orland so the partners could make more money and not pay their employees a lawful wage!
Ms. Russell has asked the court for back pay, front pay, reinstatement, compensatory damages, punitive damages, liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees, an accounting of the ERISA benefit plan (including individual and matching contributions), costs, and any other legal and equitable relief the court would grant. Generally awards for punitive damages are not covered by law firms insurance policies, meaning that the Carol Topol Orland and her firm may have to pay for damages out of their own pockets. Russell also requested a trial by jury.