Commitments and Contingencies
|3 Months Ended|
Mar. 31, 2018
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|Commitments and Contingencies||
6. Commitments and Contingencies
Lease Obligations – The Company leases office space, a corporate apartment, office furniture and equipment under various operating lease agreements, including an office for its headquarters, as well as office spaces for its events business, sales and administrative offices under non-cancelable lease arrangements that provide for payments on a graduated basis with various expiration dates.
Rent expense, amounting to approximately $266,000 and $272,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively, is included in general and administrative expense in the condensed consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss. Included in rent expense is sublease income of approximately $96,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2017.
The Company and its wholly-owned subsidiary, NAPW, Inc., are parties to a proceeding captioned In re Professional Diversity Network, Cases 31-CA-159810 and 31-CA-162904, filed with the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in June 2015 and alleging violations of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) against the Company and its wholly-owned subsidiary, NAPW, Inc., where employee was allegedly terminated for asserting rights under Section 7 of the NLRA. While the Company disputes that any rights were impacted, the NLRB has issued its order requiring the Company to take certain remedial actions in the form of posting notices and revising certain policies, as well as to pay the claimant certain back pay and offer reinstatement. The Company has complied with the order by posting notices, revising certain policies and offering the claimant reinstatement. In April of 2018 the Company settled the remaining backpay portion of the case.
The Company is a party to a proceeding captioned Paul Sutcliffe v. Professional Diversity Network, Inc., No. 533-2016-00033 (EEOC), filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) in April 2016 and alleging violations of Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, where employee was allegedly terminated due to his race (Caucasian) and his age (over 40). The EEOC has not yet notified the Company that it has issued a right-to-sue letter, and the complainant has not yet filed a lawsuit.
In a letter dated October 12, 2017, White Winston Select Asset Funds (“White Winston”) threatened assertion of a claim against the Company. The letter alleges that White Winston suffered $2,241,958 in damages as a result of the Company’s alleged conduct that caused a delay in White Winston’s ability to sell shares in the Company during a period when the Company’s stock price was generally falling. The Company investigated the assertions in the letter and communicated to White Winston that the Company denies liability for any such claim. The Company has since received a copy of a complaint filed by White Winston on May 1, 2018 in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts making similar claims, alleging that it suffered a loss of $1,708,233 as a result of the delay in selling shares and seeking unspecified damages and attorneys’ fees. The Company has not yet been served with the complaint.
NAPW is a named Respondent in a Nassau County District Court Landlord/Tenant Summary Proceeding, and is being sued by TL Franklin Avenue Plaza LLC. The Petitioner, TL Franklin Avenue Plaza LLC, is alleging that NAPW is in breach of its Lease Agreement, and the matter involves the payment of back rent owing to Petitioner. The case is on-going, and settlement discussions are underway.
NAPW and PDN are two of the named Respondents in a Nassau County District Court Landlord/Tenant Summary Proceeding, and they are being sued by Hoegh Autoliners Inc. The Petitioner in this matter, Hoegh Autoliners Inc., is alleging that both NAPW and PDN are in breach of its Lease Agreement, and the matter involves the payment of back rent owing to the Petitioner. In this matter, Intercontinental Capital Group, Inc., an Under-Subtenant of PDN, is also named in the action. The case is on-going, and settlement discussions are taking place in an effort to bring any rental obligations current.
The Company is a party to a proceeding captioned Gerbie, et al. v. Professional Diversity Network, Inc. (Cook County Cir. Ct.), a putative class action alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. This matter is in a very early stage and the Company has not yet had any discovery to allow it to assess the quality of the plaintiff’s claims. However, the Company generally believes that its practices and procedures are compliant with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
General Legal Matters
From time to time, the Company is involved in legal matters arising in the ordinary course of business. While the Company believes that such matters are currently not material, there can be no assurance that matters arising in the ordinary course of business for which the Company is, or could be, involved in litigation, will not have a material adverse effect on its business, financial condition or results of operations.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef