Several times over the past year, we told you that (now ex-)Union coach Peter Nowak was an asshole. Now we have some evidence… provided by Nowak’s lawyer in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed against the Union last week. Documents from the lawsuit were obtained by Philly.com.
In June, Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz announced at a press conference that Nowak had been fired. The announcement wasn’t much of a surprise, as it came in the midst of a lousy start for the Union and on the heels of a report that Nowak was actively seeking the head coaching position with Hearts, of the Scottish Premier League. It was clear that there was some friction between Nowak and the front office, players, and even fans. Still, though, the team softened the language at the press conference, saying only that Nowak had “stepped down.” Against his will, of course.
What really happened?
The Union told Nowak he was being fired and gave him one of two options: either sign a termination agreement (this one) that would pay him only through only the end of 2012 – not 2015, like his contract (this one) stipulated – or don’t sign, in which case he would not be paid any severance and his contract would not be honored based on reasons (causes) that were detailed in a letter to Nowak (this one).
In the lawsuit (this one), Nowak, who was to be paid roughly $400,000 a year through 2015, claims wrongful termination, citing a clause in his contract (this one) that states he be given 15 days to “cure the occurrence” of any cause for termination. Of course, the lawsuit makes no mention of the sentence that follows that clause: except that Club shall have no obligation to provide Manager such opportunity to cure if Club determines, in its good faith judgment, that the occurrence is of a nature that is not curable or that Manager's continued employment during a cure period could be reasonably be expected to result in material harm to Club.
Translated: If the Manager is such a colossal asshole beyond repair, and keeps trading away our best players, we can fire him without notice.
Nowak's lawyer left that part out.
The letter detailing those causes for termination (this one) is awesome, along with the separation agreement detailing Nowak's two options (take the severance or receive nothing), were given to Nowak on the day he was fired– there was no 15-day notice.
So what were the causes, you ask? Mr. Nowak’s attorney included the letter in the lawsuit, and I can’t imagine it is going to help his client, either in this case or in the long-term.