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Case 8:21-cv-00187 Document 1 Filed 01/26/21 Page 1 of 10 Page ID #:1

1 David R. Flyer, Bar #100697


Raquel Flyer, Bar #282248
2 FLYER & FLYER, A Professional Law Corporation
4120 Birch St., Ste. 101
3 Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 622-8445
4 (949) 622-8448 (fax)
davidflyer@flyerandflyer.com
5 raquelflyer@flyerandflyer.com
6 Attorneys for Plaintiff
LEAH SNYDER
7
8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
9 THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, SOUTHERN DIVISION
10
11 LEAH SNYDER, ) Case No. 8:21-cv-00187
)
12 Plaintiff, ) COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
) AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
13 vs. ) BASED ON:
) (1) VIOLATION OF TOM BANE
14 ALIGHT SOLUTIONS, LLC, an Illinois ) ACT;
Limited Liability Co., and DOES 1 TO 10, ) (2) WRONGFUL TERMINATION
15 ) OF EMPLOYMENT; AND
Defendants. ) (3) BREACH OF COVENANT OF
16 ) GOOD FAITH AND FAIR
__________________________________ ) DEALING
17
PLAINTIFF DEMANDS TRIAL
18 BY JURY
19 TO THE COURT, ALL PARTIES AND THEIR ATTORNEYS:
20 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
21 Plaintiff LEAH SNYDER was employed for over 20 years as a computer
22 programmer and coder by Defendant ALIGHT SOLUTIONS, LLC. On her own time,
23 she visited Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021. She listened to speeches being
24 made and walked to the Capitol, and then she left. She did not participate in any
25 rioting, she did not observe any rioting, and she did not hear of any injuries to persons
26 or damages to property during her peaceful visit. On return home, she posted two
27 “selfies” with her friends and at least one smiling police officer in front of the Capitol
28 to a comment thread on the social media of Sean Armstrong. She believed she was
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COMPLAINT

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1 engaging in a debate over the nature and scope of a protest at the Capitol. Benjamin
2 Krysheld, apparently unaccustomed to societal norms, responded in writing by calling
3 her the most vile and vicious insults in the human vocabulary. Many of the insults
4 were specifically demeaning to Plaintiff based on her gender. It is unlikely that a man
5 would have made similar comments to another man. Mr. Armstrong probably posted
6 the written comments from the social media page to Defendant’s website. A true copy
7 of Defendant’s publication appears at Fig. “1,” below. When Plaintiff registered a
8 complaint that she was the victim of cyberbullying in the publication with Defendant’s
9 Human Resources Department, she was terminated within 48 hours.
10 JURISDICTION AND VENUE
11 1. This civil action arises under California statutes, including but not limited
12 to Civil Code §52.1, Labor Code §1101 and §1102, and common law.
13 2. This Court has diversity jurisdiction where Plaintiff is a citizen of
14 California and Defendant is a citizen of Illinois, and the amount in controversy
15 exceeds $75,000.00, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332(a).
16 3. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant, because ALIGHT
17 SOLUTIONS, is an Illinois Limited Liability Co., which employed Plaintiff in Orange
18 County, California, has offices in Orange County, California, and conducts an
19 employer consulting business within California, and within the U.S. Central District of
20 California, Southern Division, both online and through local agents and
21 representatives. All of the Defendants perform substantial business within this
22 Judicial District.
23 4. Venue properly lies within the U.S. Central District of California
24 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b), (c), and (d) because Defendants are subject to
25 personal jurisdiction in this Judicial District as set forth above, and Plaintiff has
26 been harmed by Defendant’s conduct, as described below, in this Judicial District.
27 PARTIES
28 5. Plaintiff is and at all times was a resident of Orange County, California.
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1 6. Defendant ALIGHT SOLUTIONS, is an Illinois Limited Liability Co.,


2 with principal place of business located at 4 Overlook Point, Lincolnshire, Illinois,
3 which employed Plaintiff here, has offices located in, and conducted substantial
4 business within this Judicial District. Defendant provides human resources and
5 consulting services to California employers.
6 7. The true names and capacities, whether individual, corporate, associate,
7 or otherwise, of Defendants sued as DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, are unknown to
8 Plaintiff who therefore sues said Defendants by such fictitious names; Plaintiff will
9 amend this complaint to show such true names and capacities when she has
10 ascertained the same.
11 8. At all times herein mentioned, each of the Defendants was the agent
12 and/or employee of each of the remaining Defendants, and was at all times herein
13 mentioned acting within the course and scope of such agency and employment, and/or
14 ratified the actions or omissions of each of the other Defendants. Plaintiff is further
15 informed and believes, and thereon alleges, that each of the said Defendants is in some
16 way responsible for the obligations hereinafter alleged.
17 FACTUAL BACKGROUND
18 9. Plaintiff was employed by Defendant for over 20 years as a computer
19 programmer and coder. She worked remotely from home. On January 6, 2021, while
20 on paid time off from work, she visited Washington, D.C. She and perhaps as many
21 as one million other people, listened to speeches made by the President of the United
22 States and other important persons. Plaintiff is not a zealous adherent of any system
23 of beliefs. Her impression of the speeches was that the assembled people were being
24 asked to peacefully show their support for the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law
25 while presenting their displeasure with vote counting procedures during the recent
26 national election. At the conclusion of the speeches, she joined a group of people who
27 were peacefully walking to the Capitol. She reached the Capitol, took several
28 “selfies” with friends, and at least one with a smiling police officer in the background.
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1 She did not cross or see any barricades. She did not see nor participate in any rioting.
2 She did not enter the Capitol. She did not observe or hear of any injuries to persons or
3 damages to property. She was not arrested and she did not see anyone who was
4 arrested. On occasion, when she encountered police officers, she inquired if walking
5 with the other members of the crowd was legal, and each time, the officers responded
6 that what she was doing was legal. After spending some time at the Capitol, she left
7 and went home.
8 10. The day after she returned home, Plaintiff, who felt uplifted by virtue of
9 her participation in a peaceful protest and based on the speeches she heard delivered
10 by the President and others, sought to explain her participation to those who had not
11 attended what she reasonably perceived was a peaceful protest of election vote
12 counting procedures. She posted two “selfies” to a social media thread of comments
13 on Sean Armstrong’s page. Benjamin Krysheld apparently became greatly upset by
14 Plaintiff’s comments. Rather than engage in civil debate due to differing perspectives
15 from a person who was actually present in Washington, D.C., he began to viciously
16 attack Plaintiff. Mr. Armstrong probably posted the vitriolic commentary to
17 Defendant’s website, see Fig. “1,” below:
18 ///
19 ///
20 ///
21 ///
22 ///
23 ///
24 ///
25 ///
26 ///
27 ///
28 ///
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1 11. Plaintiff was the victim of cyberbulling since the comments posted on
2 Defendant’s website were defamatory about her and her gender. Defendant provides
3 its employees, including Plaintiff, with a handbook called the “Code of Conduct.”
4 Defendant’s “Code of Conduct” promulgates that it values and promotes diversity, at
5 page 4 of Exhibit “A,” attached. Further, the “Code of Conduct” encourages and
6 directs those who are subject to harassment to report it to Human Resources without
7 fear of retaliation, at Id. Defendant employs over 15,000 persons in California and
8 around the world, many of whom are involved in advising other companies on code
9 compliance. Believing that her employer meant what it said in writing about diversity
10 and the obligation to report harassment, on January 8, 2021l Plaintiff complained to
11 Kaleen Robinson, a supervisor in Defendant’s Human Resources about the posting to
12 Defendant’s website.
13 12. There was no formal investigation of the events by Defendant, no due
14 process was afforded to Plaintiff, and there was no written explanation for its actions.
15 Plaintiff was terminated for participation in a riot within 48 hours of notifying
16 Defendant. Apparently, Defendant adopted a version of the events in Washington,
17 D.C., which had been advanced by a particular cancel culture media outlet. Defendant
18 was willing to employ persons of different races, creeds, colors, genders, and sexual
19 preferences, so long as they conformed their ideas and expression of their ideas to a
20 narrowly focused, but unwritten agenda, established by Defendant. Plaintiff received
21 no protection by Defendant from the cyberbullies.
22 FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
23 VIOLATION OF TOM BANE ACT (Civil Code §52.1)
24 Against All Defendants
25 13. Plaintiff incorporates herein by reference the allegations of paragraphs 1
26 through 12 as though fully set forth herein.
27 14. Plaintiff claims that Defendants intentionally interfered with her civil
28 rights by threats, intimidation, or coercion. The threats, intimidation or coercion by
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1 Defendants caused Plaintiff to reasonably believe that if she exercised her


2 constitutional rights to speak freely, peaceably assemble or petition her grievances to
3 the Government, Defendants would terminate her employment and report her to law
4 enforcement for engaging in unlawful activity even though Defendants knew or
5 should have known that the charges of unlawful activity were false. Defendants had
6 and have the apparent ability to carry out the threats.
7 15. Defendants retaliated against Plaintiff for her having exercised her
8 constitutional rights to speak freely, peaceably assemble or petition her grievances to
9 the Government, and then having reported the interference with her rights to
10 Defendants’ Human Resources.
11 16. Defendants intended to deprive Plaintiff of her enjoyment of the interests
12 protected by the rights to speak freely, peaceably assemble or petition her grievances
13 to the Government, as more fully set forth in the Tom Bane Act.
14 17. Plaintiff was grievously harmed; and Defendants’ conduct was a
15 substantial factor in causing her harm. The harm to Plaintiff included loss of wages
16 and benefits, future loss of wages and benefits due to Defendants’ abrupt termination
17 without giving her a referral for alternative employment, and infliction of severe
18 emotional distress, manifested by worry, fear, anxiety, sleeplessness, pain and
19 suffering. Plaintiff seeks special and general damages under Civil Code §52.1.
20 18. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief ordering Defendants to restore her to her
21 former position of employment with back pay.
22 19. Defendant ALIGHT SOLUTIONS, INC., is, and at all times herein
23 mentioned, was uniquely situated to know all of the constitutional, statutory and
24 common law rights involved in the relationship between employer and employee,
25 because it lists that one of its main business functions is to provide compliance
26 guidance and consultation to employers in California. Therefore, when Defendant
27 deviated from the guidance and consultation which it provides to others, then
28 Defendant is and was acting purposefully, maliciously and oppressively to deprive one
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1 of its own employees of her constitutional rights. Defendant apparently does not see
2 the hypocrisy in advising others how to act, but then acting contrary to its own advice.
3 Defendant’s egregiously bad conduct justifies imposition of punitive damages against
4 it under Civil Code §3294.
5 20. Plaintiff was required to retain attorneys to advance her claim for
6 interference with her civil rights and retaliation for exercising her rights. Plaintiff
7 seeks attorneys fees and costs.
8 SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
9 WRONGFUL TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT
10 IN VIOLATION OF PUBLIC POLICY
11 Against All Defendants
12 21. Plaintiff incorporates herein by reference the allegations of paragraphs 1
13 through 20 as though fully set forth herein.
14 22. Plaintiff claims that Defendants breached their employment contract by
15 firing her in violation of public policy under Art. 1, Sec. 1 of the California
16 Constitution as interpreted by Tameny v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 27 Cal.3d 167 (1980).
17 Plaintiff commenced her employment with Defendants on December 4, 2000. The
18 employment contract included an implied provision that Plaintiff would not be
19 discharged except for showing of good cause. Further, she was expressly advised that
20 there would be no retaliation for exercise of her civil rights nor for reporting
21 harassment initiated by others against her based on exercise of her rights.
22 23. Labor Code §1101 guarantees Plaintiff protection from an employer
23 controlling or directing any of her political activities or affiliations. And Labor Code
24 §1102 guarantees that no employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or
25 influence its employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of
26 employment for failure to comply with a restricted line of political action or political
27 activity. Labor Code §98.6 provides authority for damages against employers for
28 violation of enumerated civil rights.
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1 24. Defendants discharged Plaintiff for exercising her constitutional rights to


2 speak freely, peaceably assemble or petition her grievances to the Government, by
3 falsely claiming that she was instead, trespassing and/or rioting. Defendants’
4 narrative of what occurred is untrue, but even if any portion of its narrative were true,
5 Defendants acted in reckless disregard of the fact that from Plaintiff’s reasonable
6 perspective, she at all times acted within her constitutionally and statutorily protected
7 rights, and justifiably reported harassment of her. Defendants retaliated against
8 Plaintiff’s exercise of her rights and reporting of harassment.
9 25. Plaintiff substantially performed her job duties.
10 26. Defendant discharged Plaintiff without good cause and in violation of
11 public policy.
12 27. Plaintiff was harmed; and Defendants’ breach of the contract of
13 employment was a substantial factor in causing Plaintiff’s harm. The harm to Plaintiff
14 included loss of wages and benefits, future loss of wages and benefits due to
15 Defendant’s abrupt termination without giving her a referral for alternative
16 employment, and infliction of severe emotional distress, manifested by worry, fear,
17 anxiety, sleeplessness, pain and suffering.
18 THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
19 BREACH OF COVENANT OF GOOD FAITH AND FAIR DEALING
20 Against All Defendants
21 28. Plaintiff incorporates herein by reference the allegations of paragraphs 1
22 through 27 as though fully set forth herein.
23 29. Plaintiff claims Defendants violated the duty implied in their employment
24 contract to act fairly and in good faith. Plaintiff and Defendants entered into a
25 continuous employment relationship on December 4, 2000.
26 30. Plaintiff substantially performed her job duties
27 31. Defendants breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing by
28 terminating Plaintiff based on pretextual grounds that she had engaged in rioting or
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1 trespass, without basis in fact. Defendants' conduct prevented Plaintiff from


2 receiving the benefits due her under the contract.
3 32. Defendants did not act fairly and in good faith. Plaintiff was harmed by
4 Defendants' conduct.
5 Wherefore, Plaintiff prays for:
6 1. For economic damages of at least $3,000,000.00;
7 2. For general, special and non-economic damages of at least
8 $7,000,000.00;
9 3. For punitive damages;
10 4. For preliminary injunction and permanent injunction reinstating her
11 employment at the same level of remuneration;
12 5. For attorney's fees by statute, Civil Code §52.1;
13 6. For prejudgment interest;
14 7. For costs; and
15 8. F or such further reli ef as may be proper.
16
17 Respectfully submitted,
18 FL YER & FLYER, A PROFESSIONAL
LAW CORPORATION
19
20 Dated: By:
lJavld R.er
21 Raquel Flyer
Attorneys for
22 Plaintiff LEAH SNYDER
23 PLAINTIFF DEMANDS TRIAL BY JURY
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