Employment Agreement, dated November 30, 2020, between Kura Sushi USA, Inc. and Steven H. Benrubi
This Employment Agreement (the “Agreement”) is made and entered into as of November 30, 2020, by and between Steven H. Benrubi (the “Executive”) and Kura Sushi USA, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”).
WHEREAS, the Company desires to employ the Executive on the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement; and
WHEREAS, the Executive desires to be employed by the Company on such terms and conditions.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants, promises, and obligations set forth herein, the parties agree as follows:
1.Term. The Executive’s employment hereunder shall be effective as of December 1, 2020 (the “Effective Date”) and shall continue until the third anniversary thereof, unless terminated earlier pursuant to Section 5 of this Agreement; provided that, on such third anniversary of the Effective Date and each annual anniversary thereafter (such date and each annual anniversary thereof, a “Renewal Date”), the Agreement shall be deemed to be automatically extended, upon the same terms and conditions, for successive periods of one (1) year, unless either party provides written notice of its intention not to extend the term of the Agreement at least 120 days prior to the applicable Renewal Date. The period during which the Executive is employed by the Company hereunder is hereinafter referred to as the “Employment Term.”
2.Position and Duties.
2.1Position. During the Employment Term, the Executive shall serve as the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer of the Company, reporting to the President of the Company. In such position, the Executive shall have such duties, authority, and responsibilities as shall be determined from time to time by the President and the board of directors of the Company (the “Board”). If requested, the Executive shall also serve as a member of the Board for no additional compensation.
2.2Duties. During the Employment Term, the Executive shall devote substantially all of his business time and attention to the performance of the Executive’s duties hereunder and will not engage in any other business, profession, or occupation for compensation or otherwise which would conflict or interfere with the performance of such services either directly or indirectly without the prior written consent of the Board. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Executive will be permitted to (a) with the prior written consent of the Board act or serve as a director, trustee, committee member, or principal of any type of business, civic, or charitable organization, and (b) purchase or own less than five percent (5%) of the publicly traded securities of any corporation; provided that, such ownership represents a passive investment and that the Executive is not a controlling person of, or a member of a group that controls, such corporation; provided further that, the activities described in clauses (a) and (b) do
not interfere with the performance of the Executive’s duties and responsibilities to the Company as provided hereunder, including, but not limited to, the obligations set forth in Section 2 hereof.
3.Place of Performance. The principal place of Executive’s employment shall be the Company’s principal executive office currently located at 17461 Derian Ave, Suite 200, Irvine, California 92614; provided that, the Executive may be required to travel on Company business during the Employment Term.
4.1Base Salary and Signing Bonus. The Company shall pay the Executive an annual rate of base salary of $300,000 in periodic installments in accordance with the Company’s customary payroll practices and applicable wage payment laws. The Executive’s base salary may be reviewed from time to time by the Board, and the Board may, but shall not be required to, increase the base salary during the Employment Term. The Executive’s annual base salary, as in effect from time to time, is hereinafter referred to as “Base Salary.” In addition to the Base Salary, the Company shall pay the Executive a one-time signing bonus in the amount of $12,500, less applicable withholdings, on December 24, 2020.
(a)For each fiscal year of the Employment Term, the Executive shall be eligible to participate in the Company’s annual short-term incentive plan (the “Annual Bonus”). However, the decision to provide any Annual Bonus and the amount and terms of any Annual Bonus shall be in the sole and absolute discretion of the Compensation Committee of the Board (the “Compensation Committee”).
(b)The Annual Bonus, if any, will be paid within two and a half (2 1/2) months after the end of the applicable fiscal year.
(c)Except as otherwise provided in Section 5, (i) the Annual Bonus will be subject to the terms of the Company’s annual bonus plan under which it is granted and (ii) in order to be eligible to receive an Annual Bonus, the Executive must be employed by the Company on the date that Annual Bonuses are paid.
4.3Long-Term Incentive Compensation. During the Employment Term, Executive shall be eligible to participate in the 2018 Incentive Compensation Plan established by the Company (“Equity Incentive Plan”). The terms of such incentive stock options shall be as set forth in the applicable Equity Incentive Plan and applicable award agreements, which shall control in the event of a conflict with this Agreement.
4.4Employee Benefits. During the Employment Term, the Executive shall be entitled to participate in all employee benefit plans, practices, and programs maintained by the Company, as in effect from time to time (collectively, “Employee Benefit Plans”), to the extent consistent with applicable law and the terms of the applicable Employee Benefit Plans. The
Company reserves the right to amend or terminate any Employee Benefit Plans at any time in its sole discretion, subject to the terms of such Employee Benefit Plan and applicable law.
4.5Vacation; Paid Time-Off. During the Employment Term, the Executive shall be entitled to paid vacation in accordance with the Company’s vacation policies, as in effect from time to time. The Executive shall receive other paid time-off in accordance with applicable law and the Company’s policies for executive officers as such policies may exist from time to time.
4.6Business Expenses. The Executive shall be entitled to reimbursement for all reasonable and necessary out-of-pocket business, entertainment, and travel expenses incurred by the Executive in connection with the performance of the Executive’s duties hereunder in accordance with the Company’s expense reimbursement policies and procedures.
(a)In the event that the Executive is made a party or threatened to be made a party to any action, suit, or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative, or investigative (a “Proceeding”), other than any Proceeding initiated by the Executive or the Company related to any contest or dispute between the Executive and the Company or any of its affiliates with respect to this Agreement or the Executive’s employment hereunder, by reason of the fact that the Executive is or was a director or officer of the Company, or any affiliate of the Company, or is or was serving at the request of the Company as a director, officer, member, employee, or agent of another corporation or a partnership, joint venture, trust, or other enterprise, the Executive shall be indemnified and held harmless by the Company to the maximum extent permitted under applicable law and the Company’s bylaws from and against any liabilities, costs, claims, and expenses, including all costs and expenses incurred in defense of any Proceeding (including attorneys’ fees), and in accordance with Executive’s Indemnification Agreement.
(b)During the Employment Term and for a period of six (6) years thereafter, the Company or any successor to the Company shall purchase and maintain, at its own expense, directors’ and officers’ liability insurance providing coverage to the Executive on terms that are no less favorable than the coverage provided to other directors and similarly situated executives of the Company.
4.8Clawback Provisions. Notwithstanding any other provision in this Agreement to the contrary, any Annual Bonus, Equity Incentive Plan compensation, or any other compensation, paid to the Executive pursuant to this Agreement or any other agreement or arrangement with the Company which is subject to recovery under any law, government regulation, or stock exchange listing requirement, will be subject to such deductions and clawback as may be required to be made pursuant to such law, government regulation, or stock exchange listing requirement (or any policy adopted by the Company pursuant to any such law, government regulation or stock exchange listing requirement).
5.Termination of Employment. The Employment Term and the Executive’s employment hereunder may be terminated by either the Company or the Executive at any time
and for any reason. Upon termination of the Executive’s employment during the Employment Term, the Executive shall be entitled to the compensation and benefits described in this Section 5 and shall have no further rights to any compensation or any other benefits from the Company or any of its affiliates.
5.1Expiration of the Term, For Cause or Without Good Reason.
(a)If the Executive’s employment is terminated upon the Executive’s failure to renew the Agreement in accordance with Section 1, by the Company for Cause or by Executive without Good Reason, the Executive shall be entitled to receive:
(i)any accrued but unpaid Base Salary and accrued but unused vacation which shall be paid on the Termination Date (as defined below) in accordance with the Company’s customary payroll procedures;
(ii)any earned but unpaid Annual Bonus in accordance with Section 4.2 herein;
(iii)reimbursement for unreimbursed business expenses properly incurred by the Executive, which shall be subject to and paid in accordance with the Company’s expense reimbursement policy and Section 4.8 herein; and
(iv)such employee benefits, including such equity awards granted under the Equity Incentive Plan, if any, to which the Executive may be entitled as of the Termination Date; provided that, in no event shall the Executive be entitled to any payments in the nature of severance or termination payments except as specifically provided herein.
Items 5.1(a)(i) through 5.1(a)(iv) are referred to herein collectively as the “Accrued Amounts.”
(b)For purposes of this Agreement, “Cause” shall mean:
(i)the Executive’s willful failure to perform his duties (other than any such failure resulting from incapacity due to physical or mental illness);
(ii)the Executive’s willful failure to comply with any valid and legal directive of the President or the Board;
(iii)the Executive’s willful engagement in dishonesty, illegal conduct, or misconduct, which is, in each case, injurious to the Company or its affiliates;
(iv)the Executive’s embezzlement, misappropriation, or fraud, whether or not related to the Executive’s employment with the Company;
(v)the Executive’s conviction of or plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a crime that constitutes a felony (or state law equivalent) or a crime that constitutes a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;
(vi)the Executive’s violation of a material policy of the Company;
(vii)the Executive’s willful unauthorized disclosure of Confidential Information (as defined below);
(viii)the Executive’s material breach of any material obligation under this Agreement or any other written agreement between the Executive and the Company; or
(ix)any material failure by the Executive to comply with the Company’s written policies or rules, as they may be in effect from time to time during the Employment Term.
For purposes of this provision, no act or failure to act on the part of the Executive shall be considered “willful” unless it is done, or omitted to be done, by the Executive in bad faith or without reasonable belief that the Executive’s action or omission was in the best interests of the Company. Any act, or failure to act, based upon authority given pursuant to a resolution duly adopted by the Board or upon the advice of counsel for the Company shall be conclusively presumed to be done, or omitted to be done, by the Executive in good faith and in the best interests of the Company.
(c)For purposes of this Agreement, “Good Reason” shall mean the occurrence of any of the following, in each case during the Employment Term without the Executive’s written consent:
(i)a material reduction in the Executive’s Base Salary other than a general reduction in Base Salary that affects all similarly situated executives in substantially the same proportions;
(ii)any material breach by the Company of any material provision of this Agreement;
(iii)a material, adverse change in the Executive’s authority, duties, or responsibilities (other than temporarily while the Executive is physically or mentally incapacitated or as required by applicable law) taking into account the Company’s size, status as a public company, and capitalization as of the date of this Agreement;
(iv)a material adverse change in the reporting structure applicable to the Executive; or
(v)the Company’s principal executive office set forth in Section 3 of this Agreement is moved by 50 miles or more.
The Executive cannot terminate his employment for Good Reason unless he has provided written notice to the Company of the existence of the circumstances providing grounds for termination for Good Reason within 30 days of the initial existence of such grounds and the Company has had at least 30 days from the date on which such notice is provided to cure such circumstances. If the Executive does not terminate his employment for Good Reason within 30 days after the expiration of the Company’s cure period, then the Executive will be deemed to have waived his right to terminate for Good Reason with respect to such grounds.
5.2Non-Renewal by the Company, Without Cause or for Good Reason. If the Executive’s employment is terminated by the Executive for Good Reason or by the Company without Cause or on account of the Company’s failure to renew the Agreement in accordance with Section 1, the Executive shall be entitled to receive the Accrued Amounts and subject to the Executive’s compliance with Section 6, Section 7 and Section 8 of this Agreement and his execution of a release of claims in favor of the Company, its affiliates and their respective officers and directors in a form provided by the Company (the “Release”) and such Release becoming effective within 60 days following the Termination Date (such 60-day period, the “Release Execution Period”), the Executive shall be entitled to receive the following:
(a)a lump sum payment equal to the Executive’s Base Salary for the year in which the Termination Date occurs, provided, however, that in the event the Termination Date occurs before December 1, 2023, the lump sum payment shall only be one-half of the Executive’s Base Salary for the year in which the Termination Date occurs;
(b)reimbursement for the payments Executive makes for COBRA coverage for a period of twelve (12) months (provided, however, that in the event the Termination Date occurs before December 1, 2023, the period shall be reduced to six (6) months), or until Executive has secured other employment, whichever occurs first, provided Executive timely elects and pays for COBRA coverage. COBRA reimbursements shall be made by the Company to Executive consistent with the Company’s normal expense reimbursement policy, provided that Executive submits documentation to the Company substantiating his payments for COBRA coverage; and
(c)The treatment of any outstanding stock options shall be determined in accordance with the terms of the Equity Incentive Plan; provided, however, that in the event of a termination pursuant to Section 5.2 of this Agreement, the vesting of any portion of the Option (as defined in the Equity Incentive Plan) scheduled to vest between the Termination Date and August 31 of that same fiscal year shall be accelerated and treated as being vested as of the Termination Date.
5.3Death or Disability.
(a)The Executive’s employment hereunder shall terminate automatically upon the Executive’s death during the Employment Term, and the Company may terminate the Executive’s employment on account of the Executive’s Disability.
(b)If the Executive’s employment is terminated during the Employment Term on account of the Executive’s death or Disability, the Executive (or the Executive’s estate and/or beneficiaries, as the case may be) shall be entitled to receive the Accrued Amounts. Notwithstanding any other provision contained herein, all payments made in connection with the Executive’s Disability shall be provided in a manner which is consistent with federal and state law.
(c)For purposes of this Agreement, “Disability” shall mean the Executive’s inability, due to physical or mental incapacity, to perform the essential functions of his job, with or without reasonable accommodation, for one hundred eighty (180) days out of any three hundred sixty-five (365) day period or one hundred twenty (120) consecutive days. Any question as to the existence of the Executive’s Disability as to which the Executive and the Company cannot agree shall be determined in writing by a qualified independent physician mutually acceptable to the Executive and the Company. If the Executive and the Company cannot agree as to a qualified independent physician, each shall appoint such a physician and those two physicians shall select a third who shall make such determination in writing. The determination of Disability made in writing to the Company and the Executive shall be final and conclusive for all purposes of this Agreement.
5.4Notice of Termination. Any termination of the Executive’s employment hereunder by the Company or by the Executive during the Employment Term (other than termination pursuant to Section 5.3(a) on account of the Executive’s death) shall be communicated by written notice of termination (“Notice of Termination”) to the other party hereto in accordance with Section 22. The Notice of Termination shall specify:
(a)The termination provision of this Agreement relied upon;
(b)To the extent applicable, the facts and circumstances claimed to provide a basis for termination of the Executive’s employment under the provision so indicated; and
(c)The applicable Termination Date.
5.5Termination Date. The Executive’s “Termination Date” shall be:
(a)If the Executive’s employment hereunder terminates on account of the Executive’s death, the date of the Executive’s death;
(b)If the Executive’s employment hereunder is terminated on account of the Executive’s Disability, the date that it is determined that the Executive has a Disability;
(c)If the Company terminates the Executive’s employment hereunder for Cause, the date the Notice of Termination is delivered to the Executive;
(d)If the Company terminates the Executive’s employment hereunder without Cause, the date specified in the Notice of Termination;
(e)If the Executive terminates his employment hereunder with or without Good Reason, the date specified in the Executive’s Notice of Termination, which shall be no less than 30 days following the date on which the Notice of Termination is delivered; provided that, the Company may waive all or any part of the 30 day notice period for no consideration by giving written notice to the Executive and for all purposes of this Agreement, the Executive’s Termination Date shall be the date determined by the Company; and
(f)If the Executive’s employment hereunder terminates because either party provides notice of non-renewal pursuant to Section 1, the Renewal Date immediately following the date on which the applicable party delivers notice of non-renewal.
Notwithstanding anything contained herein, the Termination Date shall not occur until the date on which the Executive incurs a “separation from service” within the meaning of Code Section 409A.
5.6Resignation of All Other Positions. Upon termination of the Executive’s employment hereunder for any reason, the Executive shall be deemed to have resigned from all positions that the Executive holds as an officer, or if applicable, as a member of the Board (or a committee thereof) of the Company or any of its affiliates.
(a)If any of the payments or benefits received or to be received by the Executive (including, without limitation, any payment or benefits received in connection with the Executive’s termination of employment, whether pursuant to the terms of this Agreement or any other plan, arrangement, or agreement, or otherwise) (all such payments collectively referred to herein as the “280G Payments”) constitute “parachute payments” within the meaning of Section 280G of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) and will be subject to the excise tax imposed under Section 4999 of the Code (the “Excise Tax”), then prior to making 280G Payments, a calculation shall be made comparing (i) the Net Benefit (as defined below) payment made to the Executive of the 280G Payments after payment of the Excise Tax to (ii) the Net Benefit to the Executive if the 280G Payments are limited to the extent necessary to avoid being subject to the Excise Tax. Only if the amount calculated under (i) above is less than the amount under (ii) above will the 280G Payments be reduced to the minimum extent necessary to ensure that no portion of the 280G Payments are subject to the Excise Tax. “Net Benefit” shall mean the present value of the 280G Payments net of all federal, state, local, foreign income, employment, and excise taxes. Any reduction made pursuant to this Section 5.7(a) shall be made in a manner determined by the Company that is consistent with the requirements of Code Section 409A.
(b)All calculations and determinations under this Section 5.7 shall be made by an independent accounting firm or independent tax counsel appointed by the Company (the “Tax Counsel”) whose determinations shall be conclusive and binding on the Company and the Executive for all purposes. For purposes of making the calculations and determinations required by this Section 5.7, the Tax Counsel may rely on reasonable, good faith assumptions and approximations concerning the application of Section 280G and Section 4999 of the Code. The Company and the Executive shall furnish the Tax Counsel with such information and documents as the Tax Counsel may reasonably request in order to make its determinations under this Section 5.7. The Company shall bear all costs the Tax Counsel may reasonably incur in connection with its services.
6.Cooperation. The parties agree that certain matters in which the Executive will be involved during the Employment Term may necessitate the Executive’s cooperation in the future. Accordingly, following the termination of the Executive’s employment for any reason, to the extent reasonably requested by the Board, the Executive shall cooperate with the Company in connection with matters arising out of the Executive’s service to the Company; provided that, the Company shall make reasonable efforts to minimize disruption of the Executive’s other activities. The Company shall reimburse the Executive for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with such cooperation and, to the extent that the Executive is required to spend substantial time on such matters, the Company shall compensate the Executive at an hourly rate based on the Executive’s Base Salary on the Termination Date.
7.Confidential Information. The Executive understands and acknowledges that during the Employment Term, he will have access to and learn about Confidential Information, as defined below.
7.1Confidential Information Defined.
For purposes of this Agreement, “Confidential Information” includes, but is not limited to, all information not generally known to the public, in spoken, printed, electronic or any other form or medium, relating directly or indirectly to: business processes, practices, methods, policies, plans, publications, documents, research, operations, services, strategies, techniques, agreements, contracts, terms of agreements, transactions, potential transactions, negotiations, pending negotiations, know-how, trade secrets, computer programs, computer software, applications, operating systems, software design, web design, work-in-process, databases, manuals, records, articles, systems, material, sources of material, supplier information, vendor information, financial information, results, accounting information, accounting records, legal information, marketing information, advertising information, pricing information, credit information, design information, payroll information, staffing information, personnel information, employee lists, supplier lists, vendor lists, developments, reports, internal controls, security procedures, graphics, drawings, sketches, market studies, sales information, revenue, costs, formulae, notes, communications, algorithms, product plans, designs, styles, models, ideas, audiovisual programs, inventions, unpublished patent applications, original works of authorship, discoveries, experimental processes, experimental results, specifications, customer information,
customer lists, client information, client lists, manufacturing information, factory lists, distributor lists, and buyer lists of the Company or any of its affiliates or businesses or any existing or prospective customer, supplier, investor or other associated third party, or of any other person or entity that has entrusted information to the Company in confidence.
The Executive understands that the above list is not exhaustive, and that Confidential Information also includes other information that is marked or otherwise identified as confidential or proprietary, or that would otherwise appear to a reasonable person to be confidential or proprietary in the context and circumstances in which the information is known or used.
The Executive understands and agrees that Confidential Information includes information developed by him in the course of his employment by the Company as if the Company furnished the same Confidential Information to the Executive in the first instance. Confidential Information shall not include information that is generally available to and known by the public at the time of disclosure to the Executive; provided that, such disclosure is through no direct or indirect fault of the Executive or person(s) acting on the Executive’s behalf.
(b)Company Creation and Use of Confidential Information.
The Executive understands and acknowledges that the Company has invested, and continues to invest, substantial time, money, and specialized knowledge into developing its resources, creating a customer base, generating customer and potential customer lists, training its employees, and improving its offerings in the Company’s revolving sushi restaurants. The Executive understands and acknowledges that as a result of these efforts, the Company has created, and continues to use and create Confidential Information. This Confidential Information provides the Company with a competitive advantage over others in the marketplace.
(c)Disclosure and Use Restrictions.
The Executive agrees and covenants: (i) to treat all Confidential Information as strictly confidential; (ii) to not use Confidential Information except for the benefit of the Company; (iii) not to directly or indirectly disclose, publish, communicate, or make available Confidential Information, or allow it to be disclosed, published, communicated, or made available, in whole or part, to any entity or person whatsoever (including other employees of the Company) not having a need to know and authority to know and use the Confidential Information in connection with the business of the Company and, in any event, not to anyone outside of the direct employ of the Company except as required in the performance of the Executive’s authorized employment duties to the Company or with the prior consent of the Board (and then, such disclosure shall be made only within the limits and to the extent of such duties or consent); and (iii) not to access or use any Confidential Information, and not to copy any documents, records, files, media, or other resources containing any Confidential Information, or remove any such documents, records, files, media, or other resources from the premises or control of the Company, except as required in the performance of the Executive’s authorized employment duties to the Company or with the prior consent of the Board (and then, such disclosure shall be made only within the limits and to the extent of such duties or consent). Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent disclosure of Confidential Information as may be required by applicable law
or regulation, or pursuant to the valid order of a court of competent jurisdiction or an authorized government agency, provided that the disclosure does not exceed the extent of disclosure required by such law, regulation, or order. The Executive shall promptly provide written notice of any such order to the Board.
(d)Notice of Immunity Under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, as amended by the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”). Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement:
(i)The Executive will not be held criminally or civilly liable under any federal or state trade secret law for any disclosure of a trade secret that:
(A) is made (1) in confidence to a federal, state, or local government official, either directly or indirectly, or to an attorney; and (2) solely for the purpose of reporting or investigating a suspected violation of law; or
(B)is made in a complaint or other document filed under seal in a lawsuit or other proceeding.
(ii)If the Executive files a lawsuit for retaliation by the Company for reporting a suspected violation of law, the Executive may disclose the Company’s trade secrets to the Executive’s attorney and use the trade secret information in the court proceeding if the Executive:
(A) files any document containing trade secrets under seal; and
(B)does not disclose trade secrets, except pursuant to court order.
The Executive understands and acknowledges that his obligations under this Agreement with regard to any particular Confidential Information shall commence immediately upon the Executive first having access to such Confidential Information and shall continue during and after his employment by the Company until such time as such Confidential Information has become public knowledge other than as a result of the Executive’s breach of this Agreement or breach by those acting in concert with the Executive or on the Executive’s behalf.
(e)Former Employer Information. Executive agrees that during his employment with the Company he will not improperly use, disclose, or induce the Company to use, any proprietary information or trade secrets of any former or concurrent employer or other person or entity. Executive further agrees that he will not bring onto the premises of the Company or transfer onto the Company’s technology systems any unpublished document, proprietary information or trade secrets belonging to any such employer, person or entity unless consented to in writing by both the Company and such employer, person or entity.
(f)Third Party Information. Executive recognizes that the Company may have received and in the future may receive from third parties associated with the Company, e.g., the Company’s customers, suppliers, licensors, licensees, partners, or collaborators (“Associated Third Parties”) their confidential or proprietary information (“Associated Third Party Confidential Information”). By way of example, Associated Third Party Confidential Information may include the habits or practices, technology or requirements of Associated Third Parties, and/or information related to the business conducted between the Company and such Associated Third Parties. Executive agrees at all times during his employment with the Company and thereafter to hold any Associated Third Party Confidential Information in the strictest confidence, and not to use or to disclose it to any person, firm or corporation, except as necessary in carrying out his work for the Company consistent with the Company’s agreement with such Associated Third Parties. Executive understands that unauthorized use or disclosure of Associated Third Party Confidential Information during his employment will lead to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination of his employment and legal action by the Company.
8.Non-Disparagement. The Executive agrees and covenants that he will not at any time make, publish or communicate to any person or entity or in any public forum any defamatory or disparaging remarks, comments, or statements concerning the Company or its businesses, or any of its employees, directors, officers, customers, suppliers, investors and other associated third parties.
This Section 8 does not, in any way, restrict or impede the Executive from exercising protected rights to the extent that such rights cannot be waived by agreement or from complying with any applicable law or regulation or a valid order of a court of competent jurisdiction or an authorized government agency, provided that such compliance does not exceed that required by the law, regulation, or order. The Executive shall promptly provide written notice of any such order to the Board.
9.Remedies. In the event of a breach or threatened breach by the Executive of Section 7 or Section 8 of this Agreement, the Executive hereby consents and agrees that the Company shall be entitled to seek, in addition to other available remedies, a temporary or permanent injunction or other equitable relief against such breach or threatened breach from any court of competent jurisdiction, without the necessity of showing any actual damages or that money damages would not afford an adequate remedy, and without the necessity of posting any bond or other security. The aforementioned equitable relief shall be in addition to, not in lieu of, legal remedies, monetary damages, or other available forms of relief.
10.Arbitration. Any dispute, controversy, or claim arising out of or related to this Agreement or any breach of this Agreement shall be submitted to and decided by binding arbitration conducted before a single arbitrator in Irvine, California. Arbitration shall be administered exclusively by JAMS pursuant to its Employment Arbitration Rules & Procedures, which can be found at http://www.jamsadr.com/rules-employment-arbitration/ and shall be conducted consistent with the rules, regulations, and requirements thereof as well as any requirements imposed by state law. Any arbitral award determination shall be final and binding upon the parties.
11.1Security and Access. The Executive acknowledges that he has no reasonable expectation of privacy in any computer, technology system, email, handheld device, telephone, or documents that are used to conduct the business of the Company whether such device is personally owned or provided by the Company. As such, the Company has the right to audit and search all such items and systems, without further notice to Executive, to ensure that the Company is licensed to use the software on the Company’s devices in compliance with the Company’s software licensing policies, to ensure compliance with the Company’s policies, and for any other business-related purposes in the Company’s sole discretion. Executive agrees and covenants (a) to comply with all Company security policies and procedures as in force from time to time including without limitation those regarding computer equipment, telephone systems, voicemail systems, facilities access, monitoring, key cards, access codes, Company intranet, internet, social media and instant messaging systems, computer systems, email systems, computer networks, document storage systems, software, data security, encryption, firewalls, passwords and any and all other Company facilities, IT resources and communication technologies (“Facilities and Information Technology Resources”); (b) not to access or use any Facilities and Information Technology Resources except as authorized by the Company; and (iii) not to access or use any Facilities and Information Technology Resources in any manner after the termination of the Executive’s employment by the Company, whether termination is voluntary or involuntary. The Executive agrees to notify the Company promptly in the event he learns of any violation of the foregoing by others, or of any other misappropriation or unauthorized access, use, reproduction, or reverse engineering of, or tampering with any Facilities and Information Technology Resources or other Company property or materials by others.
11.2Exit Obligations. Upon (a) voluntary or involuntary termination of the Executive’s employment or (b) the Company’s request at any time during the Executive’s employment, the Executive shall (i) provide or return to the Company any and all Company property, including keys, key cards, access cards, identification cards, security devices, employer credit cards, network access devices, computers, cell phones, equipment, speakers, webcams, manuals, reports, files, books, compilations, work product, email messages, recordings, tapes, disks, thumb drives or other removable information storage devices, hard drives, and data and all Company documents and materials belonging to the Company and stored in any fashion, including but not limited to those that constitute or contain any Confidential Information or work product, that are in the possession or control of the Executive, whether they were provided to the Executive by the Company or any of its business associates or created by the Executive in connection with his employment by the Company; and (ii) delete or destroy all copies of any such documents and materials not returned to the Company that remain in the Executive’s possession or control, including those stored on any non-Company devices, networks, storage locations, and media in the Executive’s possession or control.
12.Publicity. The Executive hereby irrevocably consents to any and all uses and displays, by the Company and its agents, representatives and licensees, of the Executive’s name, voice, likeness, image, appearance, and biographical information in, on or in connection with any
pictures, photographs, audio and video recordings, digital images, websites, television programs and advertising, other advertising and publicity, sales and marketing brochures, books, magazines, other publications, CDs, DVDs, tapes, and all other printed and electronic forms and media throughout the world, at any time during or after the period of his employment by the Company, for all legitimate commercial and business purposes of the Company (“Permitted Uses”) without further consent from or royalty, payment, or other compensation to the Executive. The Executive hereby forever waives and releases the Company and its directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all claims, actions, damages, losses, costs, expenses, and liability of any kind, arising under any legal or equitable theory whatsoever at any time during or after the period of his employment by the Company, arising directly or indirectly from the Company’s and its agents’, representatives’, and licensees’ exercise of their rights in connection with any Permitted Uses.
13.Governing Law, Jurisdiction and Venue. This Agreement, for all purposes, shall be construed in accordance with the laws of California without regard to conflicts of law principles. Subject to Section 10 of this Agreement, any action or proceeding by either of the parties to enforce this Agreement shall be brought only in a state or federal court located in the State of California, County of Orange. The parties hereby irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of such courts and waive the defense of inconvenient forum to the maintenance of any such action or proceeding in such venue.
14.Entire Agreement. Unless specifically provided herein, this Agreement contains all of the understandings and representations between the Executive and the Company pertaining to the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior and contemporaneous understandings, agreements, representations and warranties, both written and oral, with respect to such subject matter. The parties mutually agree that the Agreement can be specifically enforced in court and can be cited as evidence in legal proceedings alleging breach of the Agreement.
15.Modification and Waiver. No provision of this Agreement may be amended or modified unless such amendment or modification is agreed to in writing and signed by the Executive and by a director of the Company. No waiver by either of the parties of any breach by the other party hereto of any condition or provision of this Agreement to be performed by the other party hereto shall be deemed a waiver of any similar or dissimilar provision or condition at the same or any prior or subsequent time, nor shall the failure of or delay by either of the parties in exercising any right, power, or privilege hereunder operate as a waiver thereof to preclude any other or further exercise thereof or the exercise of any other such right, power, or privilege.
16.Severability. Should any provision of this Agreement be held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be enforceable only if modified, or if any portion of this Agreement shall be held as unenforceable and thus stricken, such holding shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this Agreement, the balance of which shall continue to be binding upon the parties with any such modification to become a part hereof and treated as though originally set forth in this Agreement.
The parties further agree that any such court is expressly authorized to modify any such unenforceable provision of this Agreement in lieu of severing such unenforceable provision from
this Agreement in its entirety, whether by rewriting the offending provision, deleting any or all of the offending provision, adding additional language to this Agreement, or by making such other modifications as it deems warranted to carry out the intent and agreement of the parties as embodied herein to the maximum extent permitted by law.
The parties expressly agree that this Agreement as so modified by the court shall be binding upon and enforceable against each of them. In any event, should one or more of the provisions of this Agreement be held to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable in any respect, such invalidity, illegality, or unenforceability shall not affect any other provisions hereof, and if such provision or provisions are not modified as provided above, this Agreement shall be construed as if such invalid, illegal, or unenforceable provisions had not been set forth herein.
17.Captions. Captions and headings of the sections and paragraphs of this Agreement are intended solely for convenience and no provision of this Agreement is to be construed by reference to the caption or heading of any section or paragraph.
18.Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in separate counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which taken together shall constitute one and the same instrument.
19.1General Compliance. This Agreement is intended to comply with Section 409A or an exemption thereunder and shall be construed and administered in accordance with Section 409A. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, payments provided under this Agreement may only be made upon an event and in a manner that complies with Section 409A or an applicable exemption. Payments made under this Agreement with respect to a termination from employment, shall be considered made only upon a “separation from service” as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 409A (“Code Section 409A”). It is further intended that such payments are not deferred compensation subject to Code Section 409A to the extent that such payments are covered by (a) the “short-term deferral exception” set forth in Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-1(b)(4), (b) the “two times severance exception” set forth in Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-1(b)(9)(iii), or (c) the “limited payments exception” set forth in Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-1(b)(9)(v)(D). The short-term deferral exception, the two times severance exception and the limited payments exception shall be applied to the payments hereunder, as applicable, in order of payment in such a manner as results in the maximum exclusion of such payments from treatment as deferred compensation under Code Section 409A. For purposes of Section 409A, each installment payment provided under this Agreement shall be treated as a separate payment. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Company makes no representations that the payments and benefits provided under this Agreement comply with Section 409A, and in no event shall the Company be liable for all or any portion of any taxes, penalties, interest, or other expenses that may be incurred by the Executive on account of non-compliance with Section 409A.
19.2Specified Employees. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, if any payment or benefit provided to the Executive in connection with his termination of employment is determined to constitute “nonqualified deferred compensation”
within the meaning of Section 409A and the Executive is determined to be a “specified employee” as defined in Section 409A(a)(2)(b)(i), then such payment or benefit shall not be paid until the first payroll date to occur following the six-month anniversary of the Termination Date or, if earlier, on the Executive’s death (the “Specified Employee Payment Date”). The aggregate of any payments that would otherwise have been paid before the Specified Employee Payment Date and interest on such amounts calculated based on the applicable federal rate published by the Internal Revenue Service for the month in which the Executive’s separation from service occurs shall be paid to the Executive in a lump sum on the Specified Employee Payment Date and thereafter, any remaining payments shall be paid without delay in accordance with their original schedule.
19.3Reimbursements. To the extent required by Section 409A, each reimbursement or in-kind benefit provided under this Agreement shall be provided in accordance with the following:
(a)the amount of expenses eligible for reimbursement, or in-kind benefits provided, during each calendar year cannot affect the expenses eligible for reimbursement, or in-kind benefits to be provided, in any other calendar year;
(b)any reimbursement of an eligible expense shall be paid to the Executive on or before the last day of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the expense was incurred; and
(c)any right to reimbursements or in-kind benefits under this Agreement shall not be subject to liquidation or exchange for another benefit.
20. Notification to Subsequent Employer. When the Executive’s employment with the Company terminates, the Executive agrees to notify any subsequent employer of Executive’s continuing obligations under this Agreement. The Executive will also deliver a copy of such notice to the Company before the Executive commences employment with any subsequent employer.
21.Successors and Assigns. This Agreement is personal to the Executive and shall not be assigned by the Executive. Any purported assignment by the Executive shall be null and void from the initial date of the purported assignment. The Company may assign this Agreement to any successor or assign (whether direct or indirect, by purchase, merger, consolidation, or otherwise) to all or substantially all of the business or assets of the Company. This Agreement shall inure to the benefit of the Company and permitted successors and assigns.
22.Notice. All notices and other communications provided for in this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be deemed to have been duly given, if delivered personally or sent by nationally recognized courier, or registered or certified mail (in each case, return receipt requested, postage prepaid) addressed, if to the Executive, at the most recent address on record in the Company’s human resources information system, and if to the Company, at:
Kura Sushi USA, Inc.
17461 Derian Ave, Suite 200
Irvine, CA 92614
23.Representations of the Executive. The Executive represents and warrants to the Company that:
(a)The Executive’s acceptance of employment with the Company and the performance of his duties hereunder will not conflict with or result in a violation of, a breach of, or a default under any contract, agreement, or understanding to which he is a party or is otherwise bound.
(b)The Executive’s acceptance of employment with the Company and the performance of his duties hereunder will not violate any non-solicitation, non-competition, or other similar covenant or agreement of a prior employer.
24.Withholding. The Company shall have the right to withhold from any amount payable hereunder any Federal, state, and local taxes in order for the Company to satisfy any withholding tax obligation it may have under any applicable law or regulation.
25.Survival. Upon the expiration or other termination of this Agreement, the respective rights and obligations of the parties hereto shall survive such expiration or other termination to the extent necessary to carry out the intentions of the parties under this Agreement.
26.Acknowledgement of Full Understanding. THE EXECUTIVE ACKNOWLEDGES AND AGREES THAT HE HAS FULLY READ, UNDERSTANDS AND VOLUNTARILY ENTERS INTO THIS AGREEMENT. THE EXECUTIVE ACKNOWLEDGES AND AGREES THAT HE HAS HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO ASK QUESTIONS AND CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY OF HIS CHOICE BEFORE SIGNING THIS AGREEMENT.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed this Agreement as of the date first above written.
KURA SUSHI USA, INC,
a Delaware corporation
By: /s/ Hajime Uba
Name: Hajime Uba
Title: President and CEO
Signature: /s/ Steven Benrubi
Print Name: Steven Benrubi
Date: November 30, 2020