5W sues its former HR head

NEW YORK: 5W Public Relations has filed suit against Melissa Weiss, the firm's former human resources director, for allegedly soliciting employees for positions with other agencies.

NEW YORK: 5W Public Relations has filed suit against Melissa Weiss, the firm's former human resources director, for allegedly soliciting employees for positions with other agencies.

5W CEO Ronn Torossian confirmed the suit, saying Weiss' employment lasted from February 2 until February 26 of this year, and that she "was fired for actively trying to poach employees to other agencies." Calls to Weiss' attorney went unreturned by press time.

Torossian claims, for his part, to have e-mail evidence showing Weiss helped an employee leave the agency while HR director.

According to a Gawker.com post, Weiss claimed she was ousted after protesting labor violations. But Torossian denied those and others allegations.

"We are compliant with every single local, state, and federal law," Torossian said, via e-mail. Regarding charges of improper overtime withholding, he added: "I am unaware of PR firms who pay salaried employees, with client, medical, and supervisory status, overtime. All our employees are... salaried."

E-mails allegedly between Torossian and Weiss were posted on Gawker, with explicit language and angry passages from Torossian. He declined to discuss the authenticity of specific e-mails, citing the pending lawsuit.

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