Amended Employment Agreement between Meridian and John P. Kenny dated effective October 1, 2019
AMENDED AND RESTATED
THIS AMENDED AND RESTATED EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT (the Agreement) is made and entered into as of October 1, 2019, by and between JOHN P. KENNY (the Executive) and MERIDIAN BIOSCIENCE, INC., an Ohio corporation (the Company).
WHEREAS, the Company desires to employ the Executive on the terms and conditions set forth herein; 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. This Agreement shall be effective as of October 1, 2019 (the Effective Date) and shall continue until the second anniversary thereof, unless terminated earlier pursuant to Section 5 of this Agreement; provided that, on such second 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 year, unless either party provides written notice of its intention not to extend the term of the Agreement at least 90 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.
2.1 Position. During the Employment Term, the Executive shall serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, reporting to Companys Board of Directors (the Board). In such position, the Executive shall have such duties, authority, and responsibility as shall be determined from time to time by the Board, which duties, authority, and responsibility are consistent with the Executives position. The Executive shall also serve as a member of the Board and, if requested, as an officer or director of any affiliate of the Company for no additional compensation.
2.2 Duties. During the Employment Term, the Executive shall devote substantially all of his business time and attention to the performance of the Executives 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 (which consent can be withheld by the Board in its discretion) act or serve as a director, trustee, committee member, or principal of any type of business, civic, or charitable organization as long as such activities are disclosed in writing to the Companys Chief Financial Officer or Secretary, 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 Executives 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 Executives employment shall be the Companys principal executive office currently located in Cincinnati, Ohio; provided that, the Executive may be required to travel on Company business during the Employment Term.
4.1 Base Salary. For the first twelve (12) months of the Employment Term (Year 1), the Company shall pay the Executive an annual rate of base salary of $670,000, inclusive of Executives automobile allowance and professional allowances, in periodic installments in accordance with the Companys customary payroll practices and applicable wage payment laws, but no less frequently than monthly. Thereafter, the Executives base salary shall be reviewed at least annually by the Compensation Committee of the Board (Compensation Committee), subject to confirmation by the Board, in accordance with Companys standard time periods for review. The Board may, but shall not be required to, increase the base salary during the Employment Term. The Executives annual base salary, as in effect from time to time, is hereinafter referred to as Base Salary.
4.2 Annual Bonus.
For Year 1 of the Employment Term, the Executive shall be eligible to earn a target annual bonus (the Annual Bonus) of seventy-five percent (75%) of Executives Base Salary. Thereafter, the Compensation Committee, subject to confirmation by the Board, shall set an eligible target bonus amount for the Annual Bonus for the applicable Employment Term year. The actual amount of any Annual Bonus payable to Executive in any year shall be determined by the Compensation Committee, subject to confirmation by the Board, based upon performance criteria set forth in advance under the Bonus Plan and the achievement of such performance criteria.
The Annual Bonus, if any, will be paid in accordance with the terms of the Bonus Plan established by the Compensation Committee.
Except as otherwise provided in Section 5, in order to be eligible to receive an Annual Bonus, the Executive must be employed by the Company on the last day of the applicable fiscal year.
4.3 Equity Awards.
The Company will grant the following equity awards to the Executive pursuant to the Meridian Bioscience, Inc. 2012 Stock Incentive Plan (the Plan) for Year 1: (i) options to purchase shares in an amount equal to one hundred percent (100%) of Executives Base Salary of common stock
in the Company at an exercise price equal to the fair market value on the date of grant, which shall vest on a pro rata basis over the three (3) years following the Effective Date; (ii) an amount of restricted stock units equal to one hundred fifty percent (150%) of Executives Base Salary which shall vest in a lump sum or cliff basis on the third anniversary of the Effective Date. All other terms and conditions of such awards shall be governed by the terms and conditions of the Plan and the applicable award agreements; and
After the first year, the Compensation Committee may determine on an annual basis equity awards for Executive based upon performance criteria set forth in advance and the achievement of such performance criteria by Executive, subject to confirmation by the Board.
4.4 Fringe Benefits. During the Employment Term, the Executive shall be entitled to fringe benefits consistent with the practices of the Company, and to the extent the Company provides similar benefits to similarly situated executives of the Company.
4.5 Employee 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), on a basis which is no less favorable than is provided to other similarly situated executives of the Company, to the extent consistent with applicable law and the terms of the applicable Employee Benefit Plans. The Company reserves the right to amend or cancel any Employee Benefit Plans at any time in its sole discretion, subject to the terms of such Employee Benefit Plan and applicable law.
4.6 Vacation/Time Off. During the Employment Term, Executive shall be entitled to paid vacation time in accordance with the plans, practices, policies and programs applicable to other senior officers of the Company, but in no event shall such vacation time be less than four (4) weeks per year, plus other standard time off benefits of other senior officers of the Company.
4.7 Business 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 Executives duties hereunder in accordance with the Companys expense reimbursement policies and procedures.
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 Executives 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 Companys Articles of Incorporation and Code of Regulations from and against any liabilities, costs, claims, and expenses, including all costs and expenses incurred in defense of any Proceeding (including attorneys fees). Costs and expenses incurred by the Executive in defense of such Proceeding (including attorneys fees) shall be paid by the Company in advance of the final disposition of such litigation upon receipt by the Company of: (i) a written request for payment; (ii) appropriate documentation evidencing the incurrence, amount, and nature of the costs and expenses for which payment is being sought; and (iii) an undertaking adequate under applicable law made by or on behalf of the Executive to repay the amounts so paid if it shall ultimately be determined that the Executive is not entitled to be indemnified by the Company under this Agreement.
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.
4.9 Clawback Provisions. Notwithstanding any other provisions in this Agreement to the contrary, any incentive-based 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 Executives employment hereunder may be terminated by either the Company or the Executive at any time and for any reason; provided that, unless otherwise provided herein, either party shall be required to give the other party at least ninety (90) days advance written notice of any termination of the Executives employment. Upon termination of the Executives 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.
5.1 Expiration of the Term, for Cause or Without Good Reason.
The Executives employment hereunder may be terminated upon either partys failure to renew the Agreement in accordance with Section 1, by the Company for Cause or by the Executive without Good Reason. If the Executives employment is terminated upon either partys failure to renew the Agreement, by the Company for Cause or by the Executive without Good Reason, the Executive shall be entitled to receive:
any accrued but unpaid Base Salary and accrued but unused vacation which shall be paid on the pay date immediately following the Termination Date (as defined below) in accordance with the Companys customary payroll procedures;
any earned but unpaid Annual Bonus with respect to any completed fiscal year immediately preceding the Termination Date, which shall be paid on the otherwise applicable payment date; provided that, if the Executives employment is terminated by the Company for Cause, then any such accrued but unpaid Annual Bonus shall be forfeited;
reimbursement for unreimbursed business expenses properly incurred by the Executive, which shall be subject to and paid in accordance with the Companys expense reimbursement policy; and
such employee benefits (including equity compensation), if any, to which the Executive may be entitled under the Companys employee benefit plans 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.
For purposes of this Agreement, Cause shall mean:
the Executives failure to perform his duties (other than any such failure resulting from incapacity due to physical or mental illness);
the Executives failure to comply with any valid and legal directive of the Board;
the Executives engagement in dishonesty, illegal conduct, or gross misconduct, which is, in each case, injurious to the Company or its affiliates or Executives breach of any fiduciary duty or duty of loyalty to Company or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates;
the Executives embezzlement, misappropriation, or fraud, whether or not related to the Executives employment with the Company;
the Executives 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;
the Executives willful unauthorized disclosure of Confidential Information (as defined below);
the Executives material breach of any material obligation under this Agreement or any other written agreement between the Executive and the Company; or
any material failure by the Executive to comply with the Companys written policies or rules, as they may be in effect from time to time during the Employment Term.
Termination of the Executives employment shall not be deemed to be for Cause unless and until the Company delivers to the Executive a copy of a resolution duly adopted by the affirmative vote of not less than a majority of the Board, finding that the Executive has engaged in the conduct described in any of (i)-(viii) above. Except for a failure, breach, or refusal which, by its nature, cannot reasonably be expected to be cured, the Executive shall have ten (10) business days from the delivery of written notice by the Company within which to cure any acts constituting Cause; provided however, that, if the Company reasonably expects irreparable injury from a delay of ten (10) business days, the Company may give the Executive notice of such shorter period within which to cure as is reasonable under the circumstances, which may include the termination of the Executives employment without notice and with immediate effect. The Company may place the Executive on paid leave for up to sixty (60) days while it is determining whether there is a basis to terminate the Executives employment for Cause. Any such action by the Company will not constitute Good Reason.
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 Executives written consent:
a material reduction in the Executives Base Salary other than a general reduction in Base Salary that affects all similarly situated executives in substantially the same proportions;
a material reduction in the Executives Annual Bonus with a target of seventy-five percent (75%) of Base Salary (the Target Bonus) opportunity;
a relocation of the Executives principal place of employment by more than fifty (50) miles;
any material breach by the Company of any material provision of this Agreement or any material provision of any other agreement between the Executive and the Company;
the Companys failure to nominate the Executive for election to the Board and to use its best efforts to have him elected and re-elected, as applicable; or
a material, adverse change in the Executives title, authority, duties, or responsibilities (other than temporarily while the Executive is physically or mentally incapacitated or as required by applicable law).
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 thirty (30) days of the initial existence of such grounds and the Company has had at least thirty (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 ninety (90) days after the first occurrence of the applicable grounds, then the Executive will be deemed to have waived his right to terminate for Good Reason with respect to such grounds.
5.2 Without Cause or for Good Reason. The Employment Term and the Executives employment hereunder may be terminated by the Executive for Good Reason or by the Company without Cause. In the event of such termination, the Executive shall be entitled to receive the Accrued Amounts and subject to the Executives compliance with Section 6, Section 7, Section 8, and Section 9 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 twenty-one (21) days following the Termination Date (such twenty-one (21) day period, the Release Execution Period), the Executive shall be entitled to receive the following:
continued Base Salary for one year following the Termination Date payable in equal installments in accordance with the Companys normal payroll practices, but no less frequently than monthly, which shall commence within twenty-eight (28) days following the Termination Date; provided that, if the Release Execution Period begins in one taxable year and ends in another taxable year, payments shall not begin until the beginning of the second taxable year; provided further that, the first installment payment shall include all amounts of Base Salary that would otherwise have been paid to the Executive during the period beginning on the Termination Date and ending on the first payment date if no delay had been imposed;
a payment equal to the product of (i) the Annual Bonus, if any, that the Executive would have earned for the fiscal year in which the Termination Date (as determined in accordance with Section 5.6) occurs based on
achievement of the applicable performance goals for such year and (ii) a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of days the Executive was employed by the Company during the year of termination and the denominator of which is the number of days in such year (the Pro-Rata Bonus). This amount shall be paid on the date that annual bonuses are paid to similarly situated executives, but in no event later than two-and-a-half (2 1/2) months following the end of the fiscal year in which the Termination Date occurs;
If the Executive timely and properly elects health continuation coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), the Company shall reimburse the Executive for the difference between the monthly COBRA premium paid by the Executive for himself and his dependents and the monthly premium amount paid by similarly situated active executives. Such reimbursement shall be paid to the Executive on the standard payroll payment date of the month immediately following the month in which the Executive timely remits the premium payment. The Executive shall be eligible to receive such reimbursement until the earliest of: (i) the eighteen-month anniversary of the Termination Date; (ii) the date the Executive is no longer eligible to receive COBRA continuation coverage; and (iii) the date on which the Executive becomes eligible to receive substantially similar coverage from another employer or other source. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Companys making payments under this Section 5.2(c) would violate the nondiscrimination rules applicable to non-grandfathered plans under the Affordable Care Act (the ACA), or result in the imposition of penalties under the ACA and the related regulations and guidance promulgated thereunder), the parties agree to reform this Section 5.2(c) in a manner as is necessary to comply with the ACA.
The treatment of any outstanding equity awards shall be determined in accordance with the terms of the Plan and the applicable award agreements.
5.3 Death or Disability.
The Executives employment hereunder shall terminate automatically upon the Executives death during the Employment Term, and the Company may terminate the Executives employment on account of the Executives Disability.
If the Executives employment is terminated during the Employment Term on account of the Executives death or Disability, the Executive (or the Executives estate and/or beneficiaries, as the case may be) shall be entitled to receive the following:
the Accrued Amounts; and
a lump sum payment equal to the Pro-Rata Bonus, if any, that the Executive would have earned for the fiscal year in which the Termination Date occurs based on the achievement of applicable performance goals for such year, which shall be payable on the date that annual bonuses are paid to the Companys similarly situated executives, but in no event later than two-and-a-half (2 1/2) months following the end of the fiscal year in which the Termination Date occurs.
For purposes of this Agreement, Disability shall mean the Executive is entitled to receive long-term disability benefits under the Companys long-term disability plan, or if there is no such plan, the Executives 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 Executives 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.
5.4 Change in Control Termination.
Notwithstanding any other provision contained herein, if the Executives employment hereunder is terminated by the Executive for Good Reason or by the Company on account of its failure to renew the Agreement in accordance with Section 1 or without Cause (other than on account of the Executives death or Disability), in each case within twenty-four (24) months following a Change in Control, the Executive shall be entitled to receive the Accrued Amounts and subject to the Executives compliance with Section 6, Section 7, Section 8 and Section 9 of this Agreement and his execution of a Release which becomes effective within twenty-eight (28) days following the Termination Date, the Executive shall be entitled to receive a lump sum cash payment equal to two (2) times the then current Base Salary following the Termination Date payable within sixty (60) days and Target Bonus for the year in which the Termination Date occurs (or if greater, the year immediately preceding the year in which the Change in Control occurs), which shall be paid when annual bonuses are paid to similarly situated executives; provided that, if the Release Execution Period begins in one taxable year and ends in another taxable year, payment shall not be made until the beginning of the second taxable year.
Executive shall be entitled, at the Companys expense, to twenty four (24) months of such medical, dental, hospitalization, life insurance, pension plan, profit-sharing, disability, employee benefits and such other similar employment privileges and benefits or perquisites as are afforded generally from time to time to other senior officers of the Company from and after Executives Termination Date with the Company or a subsidiary of the Company.
For purposes of this Agreement, Change in Control shall mean the occurrence of any of the following after the Effective Date:
the sale of all, or substantially all of the assets of the Company;
a merger, or recapitalization, or similar transaction which results in the shareholders of the Company immediately prior to such event owning less than sixty percent (60%) of the fair market value or the voting power of the surviving entity;
the date during any twelve (12) month period that a majority of the Board is replaced by directors whose appointment is not endorsed by a majority of the members of the Board before the date of appointment or election;
the acquisition, directly or indirectly, of the Beneficial Ownership (within the meaning of that term as it is used in Section 13(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) of fifty percent (50%) or more of the outstanding voting securities of the Company by any Person, entity or group. This definition shall not apply to the purchase of by underwriters in connection with a public offering of securities of the Company, or the purchase of shares of up to twenty five percent (25%) of any class of securities of the Company by a tax-qualified employee stock benefit plan.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Change in Control shall not occur unless such transaction constitutes a change in the ownership of the Company, a change in effective control of the Company, or a change in the ownership of a substantial portion of the Companys assets under Section 409A.
5.5 Notice of Termination. Any termination of the Executives 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 Executives death) shall be communicated by written notice of termination (Notice of Termination) to the other party hereto in accordance with Section 24. The Notice of Termination shall specify:
The termination provision of this Agreement relied upon;
To the extent applicable, the facts and circumstances claimed to provide a basis for termination of the Executives employment under the provision so indicated; and
The applicable Termination Date.
5.6 Termination Date. The Executives Termination Date shall be:
If the Executives employment hereunder terminates on account of the Executives death, the date of the Executives death;
If the Executives employment hereunder is terminated on account of the Executives Disability, the date that it is determined that the Executive has a Disability;
If the Company terminates the Executives employment hereunder for Cause, the date the Notice of Termination is delivered to the Executive;
If the Company terminates the Executives employment hereunder without Cause, the date specified in the Notice of Termination, which shall be no less than thirty (30) days following the date on which the Notice of Termination is delivered; provided that, the Company shall have the option to provide the Executive with a lump sum payment equal to thirty (30) days Base Salary in lieu of such notice, which shall be paid in a lump sum on the Executives Termination Date and for all purposes of this Agreement, the Executives Termination Date shall be the date on which such Notice of Termination is delivered;
If the Executive terminates his employment hereunder with or without Good Reason, the date specified in the Executives Notice of Termination, which shall be no less than ninety (90) days following the date on which the Notice of Termination is delivered; provided that, the Company may waive all or any part of the ninety (90) day notice period for no consideration by giving written notice to the Executive and for all purposes of this Agreement, the Executives Termination Date shall be the date determined by the Company; and
If the Executives 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 Section 409A.
5.7 Resignation of All Other Positions. Upon termination of the Executives employment hereunder for any reason, the Executive shall be deemed to have resigned from all positions that the Executive holds as an officer or member of the Board (or a committee thereof) of the Company or any of its affiliates.
5.8 Section 280G. In the event that the severance and other benefits provided for in this Agreement or otherwise payable to Executive (i) constitute parachute payments within the meaning of Section 280G of the Code, and (ii) would be subject to the excise tax imposed by Section 4999 of the Code (the Excise Tax), then Executives benefits under this Agreement shall be either
(i) delivered in full, or
(ii) delivered as to such lesser extent which would result in no portion of such benefits being subject to the Excise Tax, whichever of the foregoing amounts, taking into account the applicable federal, state and local income taxes and the Excise Tax, results in the receipt by Executive on an aftertax basis, of the greatest amount of benefits, notwithstanding that all or some portion of such benefits may be taxable under Section 4999 of the Code. If a reduction in severance and other benefits constituting parachute payments is necessary so that benefits are delivered to a lesser extent, payments to Executive under this Agreement which do not constitute nonqualified deferred compensation subject to Section 409A shall be reduced first, and other payments to Executive shall then be reduced in the following order: reduction of cash payments, cancellation of equity awards granted within the twelve (12) month period prior to a change in control (as determined under Code Section 280G) that are deemed to have been granted contingent upon the change in control (as determined under Code Section 280G), cancellation of accelerated vesting of equity awards, reduction of employee benefits.
Unless the Company and Executive otherwise agree in writing, any determination required under this Section shall be made in writing by the Companys independent public accountants (the Accountants), whose determination shall be conclusive and binding upon Executive and the Company for all purposes. For purposes of making the calculations required by this Section, the Accountants may make reasonable assumptions and approximations concerning applicable taxes and may rely on reasonable, good faith interpretations concerning the application of Section 280G and 4999 of the Code. The Company and Executive shall furnish to the Accountants such information and documents as the Accountants may reasonably request in order to make a determination under this Section. The Company shall bear all costs the Accountants may reasonably incur in connection with any calculations contemplated by this Section.
6. Cooperation. The parties agree that certain matters in which the Executive will be involved during the Employment Term may necessitate the Executives cooperation in the future. Accordingly, following the termination of the Executives 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 Executives service to the Company; provided that, the Company shall make reasonable efforts to minimize disruption of the Executives 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 Executives 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.
7.1 Confidential Information Defined.
Definition. 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, 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 its 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 Executives behalf.
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 field of In-Vitro diagnostics and life science components and products. 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.
Disclosure and Use Restrictions. The Executive agrees and covenants: (i) to treat all Confidential Information as strictly confidential; (ii) 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 Executives authorized employment duties to the Company or with the prior consent of the Chairman of the Board acting on behalf of the Company in each instance (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 Executives authorized employment duties to the Company or with the prior consent of the Chairman of the Board acting on behalf of the Company in each instance (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 Chairman of the Board.
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:
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:
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
is made in a complaint or other document filed under seal in a lawsuit or other proceeding.
If the Executive files a lawsuit for retaliation by the Company for reporting a suspected violation of law, the Executive may disclose the Companys trade secrets to the Executives attorney and use the trade secret information in the court proceeding if the Executive:
files any document containing trade secrets under seal; and
does not disclose trade secrets, except pursuant to court order.
8. Restrictive Covenants.
8.1 Acknowledgement. The Executive understands that the nature of the Executives position gives him access to and knowledge of Confidential Information and places him in a position of trust and confidence with the Company.
The Executive further understands and acknowledges that the Companys ability to reserve these for the exclusive knowledge and use of the Company is of great competitive importance and commercial value to the Company, and that improper use or disclosure by the Executive is likely to result in unfair or unlawful competitive activity.
8.2 Non-Competition. Because of the Companys legitimate business interest as described herein and the good and valuable consideration offered to the Executive, during the Employment Term and for the two (2) years, to run consecutively, beginning on the last day of the Executives employment with the Company, for any reason or no reason and whether employment is terminated at the option of the Executive or the Company, the Executive agrees and covenants not to engage in Prohibited Activity within any geographic market into which the Company has sold products in the preceding twelve (12) month period.
For purposes of this Section 8, Prohibited Activity is activity in which the Executive contributes his knowledge, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, as an employee, employer, owner, operator, manager, advisor, consultant, agent, employee, partner, director, stockholder, officer, volunteer, intern, or any other similar capacity to an entity engaged in the same or similar business as the Company, including those engaged in the business of In-Vitro diagnostics and life science components and products. Prohibited Activity also includes activity that may require or inevitably requires disclosure of trade secrets, proprietary information or Confidential Information.
The Company regards as its primary, but not exclusive (or intended to be limiting for purposes hereof), competitors the following: Quidel Corporation; Luminex Corporation; OraSure Technologies, Inc.; Alere, Inc. a subsidiary of Abbott; Cepheid, Inc, a subsidiary of Danaher and DiaSorin.
Nothing herein shall prohibit the Executive from purchasing or owning 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.
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 Chairman of the Board.
8.3 Non-Solicitation of Employees. The Executive agrees and covenants not to directly or indirectly solicit, hire, recruit, attempt to hire or recruit, or induce the termination of employment of any employee of the Company during two (2) years, to run consecutively, beginning on the last day of the Executives employment with the Company.
8.4 Non-Solicitation of Customers. The Executive understands and acknowledges that because of the Executives experience with and relationship to the Company, he will have access to and learn about much or all of the Companys customer information. Customer Information includes, but is not limited to, names, phone numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses, order history, order preferences, chain of command, pricing information, and other information identifying facts and circumstances specific to the customer and relevant to services.
The Executive understands and acknowledges that loss of this customer relationship and/or goodwill will cause significant and irreparable harm.
The Executive agrees and covenants, during two (2) years, to run consecutively, beginning on the last day of the Executives employment with the Company, not to directly or indirectly solicit, contact (including but not limited to e-mail, regular mail, express mail, telephone, fax, and instant message), attempt to contact, or meet with the Companys current, former or prospective customers for purposes of offering or accepting goods or services similar to or competitive with those offered by the Company.
9. 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, officers, and existing and prospective customers, suppliers, investors and other associated third parties.
This Section 9 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 Chairman of the Board.
10. Acknowledgement. The Executive acknowledges and agrees that the services to be rendered by him to the Company are of a special and unique character; that the Executive will obtain knowledge and skill relevant to the Companys industry, methods of doing business and marketing strategies by virtue of the Executives employment; and that the restrictive covenants and other terms and conditions of this Agreement are reasonable and reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate business interest of the Company.
The Executive further acknowledges that the amount of his compensation reflects, in part, his obligations and the Companys rights under Section 7, Section 8, and Section 9 of this Agreement; that he has no expectation of any additional compensation, royalties or other payment of any kind not otherwise referenced herein in connection herewith; and that he will not be subject to undue hardship by reason of his full compliance with the terms and conditions of Section 7, Section 8, and Section 9 of this Agreement or the Companys enforcement thereof.
11. Remedies. In the event of a breach or threatened breach by the Executive of Section 7, Section 8, or Section 9 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.
12.1 Security and Access. The 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, e-mail 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 Executives 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.
12.2 Exit Obligations. Upon (a) voluntary or involuntary termination of the Executives employment or (b) the Companys request at any time during the Executives 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, smartphones, PDAs, pagers, fax machines, equipment, speakers, webcams, manuals, reports, files, books, compilations, work product, e-mail messages, recordings, tapes, disks, thumb drives or other removable information storage devices, hard drives, negatives 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 Executives possession or control, including those stored on any non-Company devices, networks, storage locations, and media in the Executives possession or control.
13. Publicity. The Executive hereby irrevocably consents to any and all uses and displays, by the Company and its agents, representatives and licensees, of the Executives 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 Companys and its agents, representatives, and licensees exercise of their rights in connection with any Permitted Uses.
14. Governing Law: Jurisdiction and Venue. This Agreement, for all purposes, shall be construed in accordance with the laws of Ohio without regard to conflicts of law principles. 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 Ohio, county of Hamilton. The parties hereby irrevocably submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of such courts and waive the defense of inconvenient forum to the maintenance of any such action or proceeding in such venue.
15. 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.
16. 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 the Chairman of the Board 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. Tolling. Should the Executive violate any of the terms of the restrictive covenant obligations articulated herein, the obligation at issue will run from the first date on which the Executive ceases to be in violation of such obligation.
21. Section 409A.
21.1 General 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. Any payments under this Agreement that may be excluded from Section 409A either as separation pay due to an involuntary separation from service or as a short-term deferral shall be excluded from Section 409A to the maximum extent possible. For purposes of Section 409A, each installment payment provided under this Agreement shall be treated as a separate payment. Any payments to be made under this Agreement upon a termination of employment shall only be made upon a separation from service under Section 409A. 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.
21.2 Specified 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 Executives 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 Executives 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.
21.3 Reimbursements. 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:
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;
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
any right to reimbursements or in-kind benefits under this Agreement shall not be subject to liquidation or exchange for another benefit.
22. Notification to Subsequent Employer. When the Executives employment with the Company terminates, the Executive agrees to notify any subsequent employer of the restrictive covenants sections contained in this Agreement. The Executive will also deliver a copy of such notice to the Company before the Executive commences employment with any subsequent employer. In addition, the Executive authorizes the Company to provide a copy of the restrictive covenants sections of this Agreement to third parties, including but not limited to, the Executives subsequent, anticipated, or possible future employer.
23. 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.
24. Notice. Notices and all other communications provided for in this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be delivered personally or sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by overnight carrier to the parties at the addresses set forth below (or such other addresses as specified by the parties by like notice):
If to the Company:
Meridian Bioscience, Inc.
3471 River Hills Drive
Cincinnati, Ohio 45244
Attention: Chairman of the Board
With a copy to:
Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL
One East Fourth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Attention: James M. Jansing
If to the Executive:
25. Representations of the Executive. The Executive represents and warrants to the Company that:
The Executives 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.
The Executives 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.
26. 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.
27. 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.
28. 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.
SIGNATURE PAGE FOLLOWS
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed this Agreement as of the date first above written.
|MERIDIAN BIOSCIENCE, INC.|
|Name:||David C. Phillips|
|Title:||Chairman of the Board|
|Date||November 6, 2019|
|Print Name:||John P. Kenny|
|Date||November 5, 2019|