Romaneck v. Deutsche Asset Mgmt., 2006 WL 2385237 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 17, 2006)

Lawrence Romaneck worked as the Director of Sales for Deutsche Asset Management’s West Region from 1996 to 2004. Deutsche Bank asserted that it had terminated Romaneck for his involvement in facilitating market timing by one of the company’s clients; Romaneck alleged his employment was terminated in violation of several statutes, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which prohibits the termination of a “whistleblower.” Among other things, Romaneck alleged his employment was terminated based upon adverse testimony that Deutsche Asset Management anticipated he would give before the SEC as well as documents and testimony that he actually did provide to the SEC. The District Court concluded that because Romaneck had been terminated before he had provided documents or testimony to the SEC, he had failed to establish a causal connection between those activities and the termination of his employment. However, his claim could proceed insofar as it was based upon Deutsche Asset Management’s anticipation of what he would testify about before the SEC. The Court also dismissed Romaneck’s claims based upon the Family and Medical Leave Act/ California Family Rights Act, but left standing his claims for age and disability discrimination.