Menards ordered to pay former attorney $600,000
A judge in Eau Claire County Court has awarded Dawn Sands, the former general counsel for Menards’ home improvement chain, $600,000 in lost wages and benefits, according to an article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The wrongful termination case, which started in 2006 and ultimately reached the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, revolved around charges of gender discrimination. Sands, who started working in Menards’ legal department in 1999, claimed that she made less money than her male counterparts. It was her requests for a raise that got her fired in 2006, she said.
Sands and company founder John Menard entered binding arbitration, and one year later, the arbitration panel awarded her $1.77 million, including $900,000 in punitive damages, and ordered Menard to reinstate her at an initial salary of $166,250.
Menard wrote Sands a check for the entire arbitration award amount but refused to rehire her and appealed the arbitration panel’s decision to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Although neither Sands nor Menard wanted her back working in the company’s Eau Claire, Wis., offices, the appellate judges decided not to award “front pay” (roughly two years salary) in lieu of reinstatement. Otherwise, the appeals court upheld the arbitration panel’s findings.
Menard petitioned the state Supreme Court for review. The high court said the arbitration panel exceeded its authority and applied the wrong remedy to Sands’ situation and ordered the case be returned to the initial county judge to determine how much Menard should pay Sands for the future salary she would have received had she not been fired.
Walmart makes more merchandising changes
Senior leadership within Walmart’s merchandising organization continues to undergo a transformation, as the retailer’s chief merchandising officer Duncan Mac Naughton on Friday announced another round of personnel moves.
The most recent changes were precipitated by an announcement the prior week that veteran merchant John Westling was retiring from his position of EVP general merchandise and replenishment. That resulted in the elevation of SVPs John Aden and Pam Kohn to new EVP roles, which in turn triggered additional personnel moves Walmart announced internally on Friday.
Among the key changes, Gary Severson will transition to the role of SVP/GMM hardlines after previously serving as SVP/GMM entertainment. Filling his shoes will be Seong Ohm, who will serve as SVP/GMM entertainment after previously holding the position of SVP home, hardlines and entertainment in Walmart’s Global Merchandising Center. Severson and Ohm will report to Aden.
Filling Ohm’s role is veteran merchant Karen Stuckey who was named SVP home, hardlines and entertainment in the Global Merchandise Center. She will report to EVP softlines Andy Barron
Filling Stuckey’s role is Michelle Gloeckler, who was named SVP/GMM home and will also report to Barron. She previously served as SVP merchandise execution.
Another notable move involved Matt Kistler, who was named SVP merchandise execution after serving briefly as SVP marketing prior to which he was SVP sustainability.
The previous week, in conjunction with Westling’s retirement announcement, the company named John Aden EVP general merchandise and Pam Kohn EVP Walmart’s merchandise services organization. Aden had previously served as SVP hardlines, and Kohn was SVP global food sourcing.
Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Aug. 12, 2011
*Western – regional species perimeter foundation; Southern – regional species slab construction.
Crow’s Market Recap — A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report.
Lumber: Slow sales activity in the SPF lumber market forced producers to lower quotes in search of buyers. Mills in the West exhibited greater urgency than those in the East to find price levels that might entice buyers to participate. Mill sales in the Southern Pine lumber market slowed to a crawl, creating spotty buildups at mills and subsequent discounts. Price weakness was also evident at the secondary level. Coastal species lumber mills struggled to sell production, but lower prices brought about enough buying to get close to moving output. Distributors were actively filling inventory holes. Overall, the Inland market was quiet for the week. The narrows in both Fir-Larch and White Woods seemed to be more vulnerable than the wides. Activity for Moulding and Shop was light, to start the week and never really got going. The prices of 5/4 Ponderosa Pine Mldg&Btr came off $5 and 6/4 moved down to $1,400, a $15 decline. Prices for Radiata Pine were softer as well. Reports of offers for volume purchases from importers were floating about, some well below last week’s market levels. The market for Ponderosa Pine boards was quiet again. Idaho White Pine prices declined in both Sterling and Standard. Eastern White Pine producers reported sales of Standard 6-in. and 8-in. were good, but 12-in. was slow. The Western Red Cedar market remained mired in the summer doldrums, although the underlying issues with the market run much deeper. Market participants were reminded of this rather harshly, as they watched the stock market take a pounding.
Panels: Trading was sluggish in the Southern Pine plywood market, leading to mills having to fall back on order files extending into the week of Aug. 22 and 29. As a result of those order files, mills exhibited little initiative to lower prices, despite the light sales activity. "It’s flat," was the phrase most used to describe the Western Fir plywood market, pertaining to both sales activity and prices. Availability of product from mills was usually in the week of Aug. 22 or sooner, depending on the item. The general feel of the OSB market was uneventful. In Canadian plywood, much of the sales were by secondary sources and not mills directly. The result was a two-tier market in some areas. There were some regional differences, but, for the most part, activity was sufficient to keep mill prices firm. Most particleboard producers and their customers seemed to have settled on prices for the near term after recent price increases. MDF prices remained stable.
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