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Plastics Industry Association, former CEO in legal battle over termination
July 18, 2022 |
Radoszewski

The Plastics Industry Association is engaged in a court battle with its former CEO over his termination, with a key issue being the executive’s failure to move from Texas to Washington, D.C., where the organization’s offices are located.

Tony Radoszewski was fired from his position in March after leading PLASTICS since September 2019. The CEO sued the association in May in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, seeking at least $609,250 that he said he was owed by his contract for being terminated without cause. However, the association argues that Radosezewski was let go by the board because he never relocated to Washington despite the move being necessary for his job.

PLASTICS countersued Radoszewski on July 8, seeking at least $163,628 that he was allegedly paid in relocation expenses. That suit is in U.S. District Court for D.C.

Radoszewski joined PLASTICS following the death of longtime CEO Bill Carteaux in 2018. He had previously led the Plastics Pipe Institute in Irving, Texas, for nearly 14 years. He still lives in Texas.
The association Radoszewski inherited was facing many challenges at the time, including a sustained campaign by Greenpeace and other environmental groups to convince corporations to drop their memberships in PLASTICS over its industry advocacy. Then the pandemic struck in 2020, forcing the group to shut down its in-person events.

The former CEO’s tenure was marked by several senior staff departures. Former VP of Government Affairs Matt Seaholm was promoted to CEO after Radoszewski was forced out. The group recently announced the return of two senior staff: Vice President of Member Engagement Ashley Hood-Morley and Chief Economist Perc Pineda.

Radoszewski acknowledges in his lawsuit that he verbally communicated his willingness to move to the Washington area when interviewing for the position. However, he argues that the condition was never written into his contract, so citing that as the reason for his termination cannot be used to deny him severance and other payments he would otherwise be owed if let go without cause.

The association’s attorneys counter that the contract clearly states that the CEO must fulfill all his duties to “the best of his ability” and Radoszewski’s failure to relocate despite his statements during the interview process constitutes a breach of that provision.

“Employment agreements do not list every task an employee is expected to perform, especially employment agreements that expressly assign the employee to perform all reasonable duties to which the Board may direct him,” the association said in its countersuit.

PLASTICS also said that Radoszewski directed the CFO in 2019 to authorize his reimbursement package ahead of his relocation. That included a payment of $135,000 and additional funds for travel expenses incurred while searching for a new home. The association is requesting a jury trial to determine whether it should be repaid the money.