Business

APA Nashville Agent Alleges Abusive Conduct in Lawsuit

APA 2017
Courtesy of APA

    

Long-time staffer Cass Scrips calls the work environment “intolerable” and “hostile.”

Long-time agent Cass Scrips filed a lawsuit against Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) in April in federal court to be released from his contract due to the hostile workplace atmosphere. As reported by The Tennessean, Scripps is seeking to terminate his contract with the agency after another a dispute among employees resulted in a physical assault.

Scripps has been with APA since 2012, working with clients such as Clint Black and Corey Smith. Though APA’s website still lists Scripps as an agent, he reportedly has not worked at the company for several weeks.

According to lawyers for APA, Scripps is under contract until June of 2019 and is not able to work elsewhere until the culmination of that agreement.

Scripps is seeking to be discharged from his employment contract after two executives allegedly tried to push Scripps out of the agency while going behind his back to retain his clients. The lawsuit claims that the two executives, whose names have been redacted in the suit, reached out to representatives for Scripps’ artists and sent the agent "hostile and abusive email communications in further efforts to create a hostile work environment."

The lawsuit claims that Scripps tried to discuss the issues with the executives in January via a closed-door meeting at the Nashville office, but it resulted in one of the executives throwing him into a wall.

Scripps allegedly contacted human resources in Nashville and APA’s corporate offices in Los Angeles to report the incident, which resulted in an inquiry that lasted several weeks. On March 22, Scripps was contacted by APA chief administrative officer Michael Conway with an email that stated the accused had “apologized for his actions and had no ill intentions."

"I believe you both are honorable men," read Conway’s email, which was attached to the lawsuit. "I will require that you both not disparage any colleague moving forward, and conduct yourselves as the accomplished APA professionals I know you to be."

Scripps responded stating that he never received an apology and that APA’s willingness to tolerate a hostile work environment discharged him from his employment there.

APA general counsel disagrees with Scripps’ assessment of the workplace and sent a letter to the agent in March stating the issues between him and the accused agent "don't come close to a level that could result in a 'constructive termination.'"

While APA says Scripps’ contract requires these types of disagreements to be handled in arbitration, lawyers for Scripps are currently seeking an injunction that would discharge the agent to leave the company and seek employment elsewhere.