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Lee A. Donaldson v. Informatica Corporation

May 31, 2011

LEE A. DONALDSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
INFORMATICA CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ambrose, Senior District Judge

OPINION and ORDER OF COURT

In this diversity case, Plaintiff Lee A. Donaldson ("Plaintiff" or "Donaldson") brings a state law wrongful discharge claim against Defendant Informatica Corporation (ADefendant@ or AInformatica@). Specifically, Plaintiff contends that Informatica unlawfully terminated his employment in retaliation for his filing a prior lawsuit against Informatica under Pennsylvania=s Wage Payment and Collection Law (AWPCL@), 43 Pa. Stat. ' 260.1, et seq. Pending before the Court is Defendant‟s Motion for Summary Judgment. (Docket No. 47). Also pending is Defendant‟s Motion to Strike Certain Exhibits/Charts to Plaintiff‟s Opposition to Defendant‟s Motion for Summary Judgment. (Docket No. 59). Plaintiff opposes both motions. After careful review of the submissions by the parties and for the reasons discussed in this Opinion, the Motion for Summary Judgment is granted and the Motion to Strike is denied as moot.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

Unless otherwise indicated, the following facts are undisputed.

1. Donaldson's Employment with and First Lawsuit Against Informatica Informatica, headquartered in Redwood City, California, produces a sophisticated software platform that integrates data from a variety of different software platforms so that all users can access the entire body of data from the various software platforms. Informatica hired Plaintiff Donaldson as a Major Account Manager in February 2005. As a Major Account Manager (also referred to as a District Sales Manager or "DSM"), Donaldson sold Informatica=s software products to specific end users or accounts in an assigned region of the United States.

On or about May 5, 2008, Donaldson filed a Complaint against Informatica in this Court (the "First Lawsuit"), alleging several claims including an alleged violation of the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law arising out of a commission dispute over a sale to Dell, Inc. that closed in March 2008. On November 30, 2009, I issued an Opinion and Order granting Defendant‟s Summary Judgment Motion and dismissing Plaintiff‟s First Lawsuit in its entirety. On January 14, 2010, Plaintiff filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. On March 28, 2011, the Court of Appeals issued an Opinion affirming my dismissal of Plaintiff‟s First Lawsuit. See Donaldson v. Informatica, Civ. A. No. 08-605 (Docket No. 107).

2. Plaintiff's First Performance Improvement Plan

On November 10, 2008, Donaldson was placed on a Performance Improvement Plan ("PIP"). As of the date of his November 10, 2008 PIP, Donaldson had delivered only $99,608 in sales against his second quarter 2008 quarterly quota of $650,000. As of that same date, Donaldson had delivered only $229,225 against his third quarter 2008 quarterly quota of $650,000. As of November 2008, Donaldson had achieved only 38.7% of his annual quota for the year.*fn1

As part of his first PIP, Donaldson was assigned the following goals: (i) close $813,467 of net license revenue by December 31, 2008 (which would have placed him at 70% of his annual quota); (ii) add an additional $342,000 of net license revenue to his first quarter 2009 pipeline*fn2 in order to achieve his quarterly pipeline goal of $2,405,000; (iii) attend a minimum of two customer/prospect meetings each week; (iv) complete opportunity forms for three particular deals; and (v) thoroughly update PowerCafe with pertinent information. Donaldson‟s first PIP also stated:

The management team wants you to be successful at Informatica and will actively support you in helping you achieve these goals. However, if your performance in the areas outlined above does not improve significantly and measurably, and the actions noted are not completed in the times, you will be subject to further disciplinary action or termination or employment with Informatica.

Donaldson Dep. Ex. 2 (Docket No. 50, Tab G). Donaldson was given until December 31, 2008 to achieve the stated goals. Donaldson did not meet the revenue goal in his first PIP nor did he meet his typical $650,000 quarterly revenue goal.

3. Plaintiff's Second Performance Improvement Plan

Even though Donaldson did not satisfy the objectives in his first PIP, Informatica did not discharge him. Instead, Donaldson was placed on a second PIP on January 29, 2009. Donaldson was told that he was being placed on a second PIP because he did not meet the objectives of his first PIP. Donaldson was assigned the following goals in his second PIP: (i) deliver $650,000 in net license revenue in the first quarter 2009; (ii) attend and actively contribute in all company meetings and corporate functions; (iii) maintain a positive working relationship with all customers and Informatica employees; (iv) continue weekly face-to-face meetings with at least two customer/prospects and one partner; (v) continue keeping PowerCafe up to date; (vi) generate a pipeline of $2,405,000 for the second quarter of 2009; (vii) generate $1,000,000 in new pipeline regardless of close date; (viii) complete and keep all opportunity forms over$200,000 up to date; (ix) actively pursue answers to all gaps/unanswered questions posed by sales management; (x) complete detailed close plans for all deals over $200,000 by February 16, 2009; and (xi) do not be single threaded -- validate and triangulate what is learned to have discussions with customers higher in the chain of command. The second PIP also stated:

If you successfully over-achieve your Q1 quota of $650,000 either before or at the end of the specified timeframe, then this plan will cease to be in effect. However, your performance will be monitored on an ongoing basis, with objectives set on a monthly and/or quarterly basis to ensure a sustained improvement. If you do not achieve your Q1 quota or there is any decrease in performance after successfully over-achieving your Q1 quota, it may result in you being dismissed from Informatica without the issuance of another warning or improvement plan. Donaldson Dep. Ex. 4 (Docket No. 50, Tab G).

The $650,000 net license revenue goal on the second PIP was the typical quarterly net license revenue goal for DSMs, and the pipeline goal was consistent with the typical quarterly pipeline goal for DSMs. Donaldson, however, closed only $20,000 in the first quarter of 2009.

4. Plaintiff's Third Performance Improvement Plan and Discharge

Informatica did not discharge Donaldson following his failure to meet all of the goals of his second PIP; rather, Informatica placed Donaldson on a third PIP in May 2009. Donaldson was assigned the following goals in his third PIP: (i) close $825,000 in revenue by May 30th; (ii) continue keeping PowerCafe accurate and up to date; (iii) respond to all phone and e-mail requests within 24 hours; (iv) generate $494,000 in new pipeline by May 30th regardless of close date; (v) complete and keep all Opportunity Forms over $200,000 accurate and up-to-date; (vi) actively pursue getting answers to all gaps/unanswered questions from sales management; (vii) complete detailed close plans; and (viii) leverage the information learned to pitch top accounts. The PIP also stated: "If you are unable to achieve all of the performance criteria above, your employment at Informatica may conclude on May 30th. However, if you are able to achieve the performance measures above, Informatica reserves the right to issue another performance improvement plan to ensure consistent ongoing performance." Donaldson ...


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