On January 5, 2016, Beranbaum Menken LLP filed a lawsuit in federal court against Viacom International Media Networks for its retaliatory firing of Nataki Williams, Vice President for Financial Planning and Analysis, after she spoke out against Viacom’s scheme to avoid paying US corporate taxes by transferring the licensing right of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to a nominal entity in the Netherlands. Ms. Williams, who won two Viacom “Presidential Awards” and two promotions in her seven years at Viacom, was terminated while on maternity leave after the birth of her first child. Prior to going on leave, she had repeatedly voiced her objections to what she believed was an illegal tax scheme—a belief further solidified when her superiors joked about “not looking good in orange” and instructed Ms. Williams not to discuss the plan over email. She is suing under the The Securities Whistleblower Incentives and Protection section of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 and the anti-retaliation provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley. The case is Williams v. Viacom International Media Networks, Inc., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-00029.
Links to Press Coverage:
Read the Complaint here