Patria Office Supply, Marshfield Office Supply to Pay $1.3M in $6M Settlement
Patria is the world’s largest retailer of office supplies, with its headquarters in New York City and more than 1,000 stores around the world.
The company agreed to pay $1,3 million to settle claims filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and two separate state attorneys general that it knowingly violated antitrust laws in its retail sales practices and that it improperly paid bonuses to employees who were not on contracts.
Patria will also pay $200,000 in disgorgement to the SEC and $500,000 to the states attorneys general, the company said.
The SEC complaint alleged that Patria and Marshfield officials improperly awarded bonuses to workers who did not meet certain performance standards, including not being paid on time, failing to file quarterly reports, and failing to meet certain disclosure requirements.
Patrias lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
The agreement, reached by Patria, Marshfields attorneys, and the states, requires Patria to pay an annual penalty of $1 million, a $1-million severance fee to all employees who lost their jobs, and an additional $1 billion in disgors.
The SEC will also be paying $2 million in penalties to Marshfields and Patria.
The companies agreed to an arbitration agreement to settle the claims.
Patrizia has also agreed to implement a change to its corporate governance that will require more regular meetings of the board and senior management.
It also agreed that it will pay a $500 million penalty to the state of New York, and will implement new rules for the hiring and firing of employees.
Patricia said in a statement that the settlement is an important step forward to resolve the complex issues surrounding the company and its employees.
“Patria is committed to providing our employees with the best possible service,” said Patria CEO David Fisch.
“The settlement will help our company become more competitive and provide our customers with a better experience for the years to come.”
The SEC announced on April 25 that it had charged Patria with violating antitrust laws.
The state of California sued Patria in December 2017, alleging that the company’s corporate structure, incentives, and rewards program created a hostile work environment that violated antitrust law.
The state’s attorneys general alleged that the scheme was designed to reward Patria employees who took a more active role in the company, resulting in lower pay, promotions, and bonuses.
Patrista is one of the worlds largest retailers of office supply products.
In 2018, Patria’s sales grew by 11 percent to $2.4 billion.
It sells to more than 300 countries, including more than 20 Fortune 500 companies.