Foundry Harassment Suit Settled

Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) and its CEO Bobby Johnson are officially off the hook. A lawsuit accusing the CEO and his company of harassment and discrimination has been settled (see Ex Foundry VP Sues Company, CEO).

After more than a year of legal bantering and paper pushing, the lawsuit, which was filed by former vice president of marketing Drusie Demopolous against Foundry and Johnson, has been dismissed, according to court papers filed in the Superior Court of California in the county of Santa Clara in January.

Both sides in the case have agreed to keep terms of the settlement and the nature of the dismissal under wraps. But according to Demopoulos’s lawyer, Mary J. Shea, both sides were "satisfied" with the outcome.

Demopoulos filed the lawsuit in November 2000 alleging that Johnson continually harassed her at work and at home when it became known to him that she was planning to start a family. The suit also alleged that Demopoulos was wrongfully fired from her position after an argument with Johnson where she objected to his harassment and discrimination. The suit also claims that Demopoulos suffered two miscarriages as a result of the stress that Johnson had placed on her prior to the company’s going public in the fall of 1999.

Demopoulos had been seeking the return of over 1.1 million shares of unvested stock options, worth approximately $65 million back when the suit was filed -- and Foundry's stock was trading around $59 a share. Today, its stock is trading at $8.45, which would make these options worth roughly $9,300,000. Aside from the options that Demopoulos says she lost when she was fired, she still was able to keep about 1.4 million shares, which today are worth about $11.8 million, a far cry from the $82.6 million they were worth when she filed the lawsuit back in 2000.

Foundry did not return phone calls for comment.

— Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading
spliffmon 12/4/2012 | 10:48:50 PM
re: Foundry Harassment Suit Settled During the last 9 years in this industry, I have scene hundreds of men suffer from lack of time to be with and plan for their families because of the relentless development schedule that must be maintained in this industry. Yes, there have been women too (and I do respect them) - but mostly men working the longest hardest hours. I admit, I do not know the exact details behind this case, but as presented here Drusie DemopolousGÇÖ case does not sound unlike the treatment I have received from my employers in the past. But with the new forms of GÇ£vitctimGÇ¥ jurisprudence in place, anything and everything that can considered GÇ£harassmentGÇ¥ can lead to unjust payouts, especially if you are a woman or minority.
My last manager was female, I worked closely with her, and when she wanted to quit her job for a new one, it became known that she would force the company into giving her full vestment when she leaves because she GÇ£feltGÇ¥ harassed. She got it. And scored big at two companies simply because she was a woman who knew how to work the system, and the timing in the market was right.

The average American father works 51 hours a week. While nearly half of American mothers with children under the age of six do not work full time, even those who do average only a 41 hour work week. American men work the longest hours of any workers (male or female) in the industrialized world. Men work 90% of the overtime hours in the US, and are more likely to work nights and weekends, to travel for work, and to have long commutes. All of these deprive fathers of valuable time with their children.
In addition, men do our society's most hazardous and demanding jobs, in large part because the higher pay allows them to better provide for their families. Nearly 100,000 American workers died from job-related injuries over the past decade and a half, 95% of them men. There were over 100 million workplace injuries in the US between 1976 and 1999, again the overwhelming majority of them suffered by men.

If the same standard for Drusie Demopolous was applied to just about every man I know, none of us would need our currently worthless stock incentives.
khyron4eva 12/4/2012 | 10:48:48 PM
re: Foundry Harassment Suit Settled Yeah, but men also seem more willing, in most industries, to make that level of commitment to their work. That's just been my observation. Since we don't really know the details of the situation, none of us outside of the involved parties can really say whether she was harassed or not.
ipcore 12/4/2012 | 10:48:42 PM
re: Foundry Harassment Suit Settled AMEN!
Sign In