Pollen faces a class action lawsuit from former employees

Photo credit: Pollen

Destination events company Pollen enters administration in the UK. Now its US subsidiaries are facing a class action lawsuit from former employees.

Sergio Giancaspro is suing Network Travel Experiences, Inc. and StreetTeam Software LLC., which are Pollen’s US subsidiaries. The lawsuit alleges that Pollen’s wealthy founding brothers mismanaged the company to ruin.

“He boasts of being ‘pair[ing] world-class entertainment with exciting destinations”, and offers employees a chance to “live a bigger life”. Pollen proclaims that it is backed by top-tier investors and has raised over $200 million in venture capital funding,” the lawsuit states.

“The party ended in August 2022. Pollen executives grossly mismanaged the hundreds of millions entrusted to them. Shortly after completing a massive funding cycle, Pollen canceled a series of widely publicized festivals. He announced in mid-August that he was going into administration, the British equivalent of bankruptcy.

“It has left Pollen’s US subsidiaries and their employees adrift. After a series of delays in salary payments, the subsidiaries stopped paying employees from July 1, 2022. They then laid off all employees – without notice or warning – on August 10, 2022 with immediate effect. Employees were left with millions of dollars in unpaid wages and expense reimbursements.

“Giancaspro is bringing this action on behalf of himself and similarly situated former employees for nonpayment of earned wages and reimbursement of expenses, and for failure to provide mandatory notice of termination under federal and state labor laws. work.”

The lawsuit goes on to allege that Pollen knew in early 2022 that he was facing financial hardship. The company “repeatedly” missed pay to its American workforce, which executives blamed on their payroll processor and “human error.” Employee salary reimbursements for most of 2022 have been delayed until they are no longer paid at all, starting July 1.

In April and May 2022, NTE began laying off employees without notice. The plaintiff in the lawsuit alleges that approximately 200 employees were terminated during this period.

When NTE missed payroll again on June 30, Pollen co-founder and CEO Callum Negus-Fancey said the problem was due to “closing a transaction with a large, well-known entertainment company.” and that the difficulty was “an isolated and specific case”. an event.” When asked directly if Pollen could continue to meet his salary obligations in the future, Negus-Fancey replied, “Yes, we absolutely can.”

On August 10, 2022, NTE informed its employees that they were being terminated with immediate effect. They did not receive the 60-day notice required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (WARN Act). NTE or Pollen also failed to pay the employees their final wages due at the time of termination, including vacation and other paid hours.

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