AG&A Representing Self-Help Author In Wrongful Termination Suit

Posted on November 28th, 2017

On November 14, “The Uninvited: How I Crashed My Way Into Finding Myself,” was released to great acclaim as a story of redemption by AG&A client Craig Schmell.

Just prior to its release, Mr. Schmell’s employer, Morgan Stanley, terminated him upon learning that he is a recovering alcoholic; a critical part of the book’s storyline. Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC partner, Joshua S. Bauchner, and the firm immediately filed suit alleging unlawful termination arising from the discrimination against Mr. Schmell, a member of a protected class under state law.

The action is captioned: Craig Schmell v. Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc., Docket No. MON-L-4077017, pending in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County.

Mr. Schmell worked as a Senior Vice President with the company from 2006 until his dismissal earlier this year.

Mr. Schmell gained notoriety for his ability to place himself at the center of major events such as the Rangers’ Stanley Cup victory and the Grammys. In his memoir, he recounts those times and the unfortunate role his substance abuse played in his being “uninvited” onto the world’s stage.

Prior to publication, Mr. Schmell allowed his employer to review the book and, upon its request, made significant changes to accommodate Morgan Stanley. Despite his efforts, which included removing any mention of the company and a reference to an arrest at age 16, Schmell was told the book created “reputational risk” for the company and that risk was the reason for his termination, although he has been sober for nearly three decades.

In his suit, Mr. Schmell contends that the real reason for his dismissal was his prior drug and alcohol abuse and his status as a recovering alcoholic. Indeed, Mr. Schmell and the book already have been featured in multiple news outlets, including:  Good Day New York, Cheddar, People Magazine, and Advisor Hub.

Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC’s employment group regularly represents individuals and employers in discrimination disputes. For additional information, please contact Joshua S. Bauchner or Michael H. Ansell at (973) 247-9000.

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