ST. CLOUD, Minn. (FOX 9) - A lawsuit alleges the president of a St. Cloud-based bankruptcy law firm fired employees he deemed racist due to their "pro-Trump" and pro-police social media posts.
According to the lawsuit filed in Stearns County District Court, three law partners at Kain and Scott Law Firm are suing president Wesley Scott, of Clear Lake, for wrongful termination, whistleblower protections and defamation, among other things.
The plaintiffs are William Kain, of St. Cloud; Margaret Henehan, of Minneapolis; and Kelsey Quarberg, of St. Louis Park.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege Scott sent an email to the firm’s attorneys saying the "traitors of Jan 6," referring to the 2021 Capitol Riots in Washington, D.C., should have been shot. Then, the lawsuit says, Scott told the firm’s operations manager to fire two employees due to their "pro-Trump" and "I support the police" posts on social media. The operations manager refused and resigned instead.
The plaintiffs confronted Scott, saying he violated the law and damaged employee morale, the lawsuit says. He then apologized on April 14 and resigned, asking the plaintiffs to buy him out of the firm. The next day, however, he withdrew his resignation and fired the plaintiffs. He told staff the plaintiffs were terminated for "insubordination."
April 16, the plaintiffs sent a letter to Scott demanding the following: their clients be given the right to choose to work with them or stay at the firm, cease and desist making disparaging claims about the plaintiffs, and to stop using their names and likenesses in marketing for the firm and more.
In a Zoom meeting that same day, Scott told firm employees that the fired plaintiffs planned a "coup" to oust him from the firm.
Scott and the firm have since challenged the plaintiff’s claims for unemployment and COBRA premium assistance, saying they were terminated for gross misconduct.