The California Unemployment Appeals Board has ruled against Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (OTCBB:APDN) in its effort to disqualify three former employees from receiving unemployment insurance benefits under section 256 of the California Unemployment Insurance Code. APDN, presently based in Stony Brook, New York, claims to offer botanical DNA-based protection against counterfeiting, fraud, identity theft and similar illegal acts.
“Two of the three former executives worked for several months without pay, out of loyalty to the company and promises based on supposedly groundbreaking technology provided by Biowell Technologies Inc. of Taiwan, and the third remained in employment limbo. After terminating the employees without explanation, APDN claimed that the employees were separated from their jobs because of fraudulent activity,” says Peter M. Kunstler, attorney for the claimants. “The Appeals Board agreed that fraud and collusion are false charges. We believe the terminations actually resulted from an array of breaches by both old and new management.”
Kunstler, of the law firm Makarem & Associates APLC, is preparing for the May, 2007 trial of a civil suit against APDN on behalf of four former employees, based on breach of contract and violations of California Labor Law.
APDN hired the claimants in 2003 and 2004. Concerns over their employment status and changes in the direction of the company led the claimants to request written severance agreements. The COO/Acting CFO/Contracts Manager of the company, Karin Klemm, executed Addenda to the claimants’ employment contracts, which new management contended were fraudulently procured. This was the basis for APDN’s challenge which the ALJ overruled in the decision confirmed by the Appeals Board.