ADP Seeks Sanctions Against Former Employer for Allegedly Destroying Evidence in Suit

ADP Inc., a payroll processing business, has filed a motion asking a Florida federal court judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by ex-ADP manager David Schwartz. Alternatively, ADP is asking the court to enter a default judgment in its favor, based on allegations that Schwartz deleted crucial evidence on a company iPad. ADP is requesting a jury instruction in any trial that may occur that any deleted evidence was unfavorable to Schwartz and an award of costs and fees should the court determine that Schwartz destroyed evidence.

One of the allegations central to Schwartz’s lawsuit is that ADP tampered with his Apple account and conducted surveillance on him through his Apple devices. Schwartz also testified during his deposition that he did 90% of his work on his iPad. Schwartz restored his company iPad to its factory settings and removed its SIM card before returning it to ADP. Due to this lack of crucial evidence, ADP claims that it cannot conduct discovery in the suit or defend itself against Schwartz’s allegations. The case is Schwartz v. ADP, LLC. et al., case number 2:21-cv-00283, U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida.

Schwartz initially sued ADP and its parent company, Automatic Data Processing, Inc., in March 2021. He accused the data processing giant of retaliating against him after he began questioning the company’s business practices. He alleged various causes of action, including violations of the Wiretap Act and the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. 

ADP hired Schwartz as an associate district manager in 2015 and promoted him to senior district manager in 2017. Throughout his tenure as manager, Schwartz claimed that ADP violated various state unemployment insurance laws, committed tax frauds, falsified Social Security numbers, and unethically promoted retirement account plans to clients it was not licensed to sell. Although Schwartz complained to his superiors, they allegedly made no changes, so Schwartz filed complaints with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

In June 2018, Schwartz claimed that ADP retaliated against him by locking him out of his company-issued iPad and fired him about a month later. ADP sued Schwartz twice – once in 2018 for failing to return the company’s iPad and once in 2019 for defamation. Schwartz claimed the lawsuits were retaliatory and sought protection under Florida’s whistleblower statute. He also claimed that in 2020, ADP began hacking into his Apple accounts to conduct surveillance on him. Schwartz allegedly returned the iPad to ADP in September 2021, only after a state court order threatened him with a jail sentence. 

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Hall Benefits Law, LLC

HBL offers employers comprehensive legal guidance on benefits in mergers and acquisitions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, healthcare reform, and retirement plans. We counsel a wide spectrum of clients including small, mid-sized, and large companies, 401(k) investment advisors, health insurance brokers, accountants, attorneys, and HR consultants, just to name a few. HBL is passionate about advising clients, and we are dedicated to our mission: to provide comprehensive, personalized, and practical ERISA and benefits legal solutions that exceed client expectations.

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