THIS EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT (this “Agreement”) is made and entered into this the 28th day of October 2020, (the “Effective Date”), by and between TILT Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”), and Gary Santo (the “Executive”).
THE PARTIES ENTER THIS AGREEMENT on the basis of the following facts, understandings and intentions:
A. The Company desires to further employ the Executive, and the Executive desires to accept such employment, on the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement.
B. This Agreement shall govern the employment relationship between the Employee and the Company from and after the Effective Date and, as of the Effective Date, supersedes and negates all previous agreements and understandings with respect to such relationship.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the above recitals incorporated herein and the mutual covenants and promises contained herein and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby expressly acknowledged, the parties agree as follows:
1. Retention and Duties.
1.1 Retention. The Company does hereby hire, engage and employ the Executive for the Period of Employment (as such term is defined in Section 2) on the terms and conditions expressly set forth in this Agreement. The Executive does hereby accept and agree to such hiring, engagement and employment, on the terms and conditions expressly set forth in this Agreement. Certain capitalized terms used herein are defined in Section 5.5 of this Agreement.
1.2 Duties. During the Period of Employment, the Executive shall serve the Company as its President and shall have the powers, authorities, duties and obligations of management usually vested in the office of the President of a company of a similar size and similar nature of the Company, and such other powers, authorities, duties and obligations commensurate with such positions as the Company may assign from time to time, all subject to the directives and corporate policies of the Company as they are in effect from time to time throughout the Period of Employment. During the Period of Employment, the Executive shall report to the Chief Executive Officer.
1.3 No Other Employment; Minimum Time Commitment. During the Period of Employment, the Executive shall (i) devote substantially all of the Executive’s business time, energy and skill to the performance of the Executive’s duties for the Company, (ii) perform such duties in a faithful, effective and efficient manner to the best of his abilities, and (iii) hold no other employment. The Executive’s service on the boards of directors (or similar body) of other business entities is subject to the prior written approval of the Board. The Company shall have the right to require the Executive to resign from any board or similar body (including, without limitation, any association, corporate, civic or charitable board or similar body) which he may then serve if the Company reasonably determines that the Executive’s service on such board or body interferes with the effective discharge of the Executive’s duties and responsibilities to the Company, creates an actual or apparent conflict of interest with the Executive’s duties, responsibilities or role at the Company, or that any business related to such service is then in direct or indirect competition with any business of the Company or any of its Affiliates, successors or assigns..
1.4 No Breach of Contract. The Executive hereby represents to the Company and agrees that: (i) the execution and delivery of this Agreement by the Executive and the Company and the performance by the Executive of the Executive’s duties hereunder do not and shall not constitute a breach of, conflict with, or otherwise contravene or cause a default under, the terms of any other agreement or policy to which the Executive is a party or otherwise bound or any judgment, order or decree to which the Executive is subject; (ii) the Executive will not enter into any new agreement that would or reasonably could contravene or cause a default by the Executive under this Agreement; (iii) the Executive has no information (including, without limitation, confidential information and trade secrets) relating to any other Person which would prevent, or be violated by, the Executive entering into this Agreement or carrying out his duties hereunder; (iv) to the extent the Executive has any confidential or similar information that he is not free to disclose to the Company, he will not disclose such information to the extent such disclosure would violate applicable law or any other agreement or policy to which the Executive is a party or by which the Executive is otherwise bound; and (v) the Executive understands the Company will rely upon the accuracy and truth of the representations and warranties of the Executive set forth herein and the Executive consents to such reliance.
1.5 Travel. The Executive acknowledges that the Company is headquartered in Arizona and he will be required to travel to Arizona and elsewhere from time to time in the course of performing his duties for the Company. All such travel is subject to written Company policy.
2. Period of Employment. The “Period of Employment” shall commence on the Effective Date, and end at the close of business on July 12, 2022 (the “Anniversary Date”). Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Period of Employment is subject to earlier termination as provided below in this Agreement. For the sake of clarity, at the conclusion of the Period of Employment, this Agreement shall terminate without further action by either party hereto, and no extension of this Agreement is valid except as memorialized in a writing signed by the Executive and the Chief Executive Officer. For the sake of clarity, if the Company or the Executive do not renew the terms of this Agreement or execute a new agreement following the expiration of the Period of Employment, the Executive’s employment by the Company following the expiration of the Period of Employment shall be on an at-will basis and may be terminated by the Company or by the Executive at any time, for any reason (or for no reason), with or without advance notice.
3.1 Base Salary. During the Period of Employment, the Company shall pay the Executive a base salary (the “Base Salary”), which shall be paid in accordance with the Company’s regular payroll practices in effect from time to time but not less frequently than in monthly installments. The Executive’s Base Salary shall be at an annualized rate of three-hundred and sixty thousand US Dollars ($360,000.00). The Board (or a committee thereof) may, in its sole discretion, increase the Executive’s rate of Base Salary.
3.2 Equity Award. On June 26, 2020 the Executive was granted an option to purchase shares of common stock in accordance with the Company’s Equity and Incentive Plan, in the amount of 600,000 incentive stock options (the “2020 Options”). Nothing contained in this agreement in anyway changes, alters, forfeits, or otherwise modifies the terms of the 2020 Options.
3.3 Incentive Bonus. Commencing with 2020 the Executive shall be eligible to receive an incentive bonus for each fiscal year of the Company that occurs during the Period of Employment (“Incentive Bonus”). Notwithstanding the foregoing and except as otherwise expressly provided in this Agreement, the Executive must be employed by the Company at the time the Company pays incentive bonuses to executives generally with respect to a particular fiscal year in order to earn and be eligible for an Incentive Bonus for that year (and, if the Executive is not so employed at such time, in no event shall he have been considered to have “earned” any Incentive Bonus with respect to the fiscal year). The Executive’s actual Incentive Bonus amount for a particular fiscal year shall be determined by the Board (or a committee thereof) in its sole discretion, based on performance objectives (which may include corporate, business unit or division, financial, strategic, individual or other objectives) established with respect to that particular fiscal year by the Board (or a committee thereof), using targeted guidance of 0-100% of annualized salary. The Incentive Bonus will be paid to the Executive upon the earlier of: (x) the date when bonuses are paid to any other executive level employee or (y) 60 days after the end of the prior calendar year to which the Incentive Bonus relates.
4.1 Retirement, Welfare and Fringe Benefits. During the Period of Employment, the Executive shall be entitled to participate in all employee pension and welfare benefit plans and programs, and fringe benefit plans and programs, made available by the Company to the Company’s employees generally, in accordance with the eligibility and participation provisions of such plans and as such plans or programs may be in effect from time to time. Except as explicitly stated otherwise in this Agreement, the Company may modify, suspend or discontinue any benefit plans, policies and practices at any time without notice to, or recourse by, the Executive, so long as such action is taken generally with respect to other similarly situated executives employed by the Company.
4.2 Reimbursement of Business Expenses. The Executive is authorized to incur reasonable expenses in carrying out the Executive’s duties for the Company under this Agreement and shall be entitled to reimbursement for all reasonable business expenses the Executive incurs during the Period of Employment in connection with carrying out the Executive’s duties for the Company, subject to the Company’s written expense reimbursement policies and any pre-approval policies in effect from time to time. The Executive agrees to promptly submit and document any reimbursable expenses in accordance with the Company’s expense reimbursement policies to facilitate the timely reimbursement of such expenses.
4.3 Paid Time Off and Other Leave. During the Period of Employment, the Executive’s annual rate of paid time off accrual shall be one-hundred and twenty hours (120) per year, with such time off to accrue and be subject to the Company’s PTO policies in effect for executives of the Company from time to time, including any policy which may limit time off accruals and/or limit the amount of accrued but unused time off to carry over from year to year. The Executive shall also be entitled to all other holiday and leave pay generally available to other executives of the Company.
5.1 Termination by the Company. During the Period of Employment, the Executive’s employment by the Company, and the Period of Employment, may be terminated at any time by the Company: (i) with Cause, or (ii) with no less than thirty (30) days’ advance written notice to the Executive (such notice to be delivered in accordance with Section 18), without Cause, or (iii) in the event of the Executive’s death, or (iv) in the event that the Board determines in good faith that the Executive has a Disability.
5.2 Termination by the Executive. During the Period of Employment, the Executive’s employment by the Company, and the Period of Employment, may be terminated by the Executive with thirty (30) days’ advance written notice to the Company (such notice to be delivered in accordance with Section 18), unless the necessity of such advance written notice is waived by the Company. In the case of a termination for Good Reason, the Executive may provide immediate written notice of termination (or verbal notice of termination if the necessity of written notice is waived by the Company) once the applicable cure period (as contemplated by the definition of Good Reason) has lapsed if the Company has not reasonably cured the circumstances that gave rise to the basis for the Good Reason termination. The Company may direct the Executive to refrain from performing the Executive’s duties, and/or place the Executive on paid administrative leave, during the thirty (30) day notice period (or any portion thereof), and such action shall not constitute a breach by the Company of this Agreement nor shall it constitute Good Reason.
5.3 Benefits upon Termination. If the Executive’s employment by the Company is terminated for any reason by the Company or by the Executive (the date that the Executive’s employment by the Company terminates is referred to as the “Severance Date”), the Company shall have no further obligation to make or provide to the Executive, and the Executive shall have no further right to receive or obtain from the Company, any payments or benefits except as follows:
(a) The Company shall pay the Executive (or, in the event of his death, the Executive’s estate) any Accrued Obligations;
(b) If the Executive’s employment with the Company terminates during the Period of Employment as a result of a termination by the Company without Cause (other than due to the Executive’s death or Disability) or a resignation by the Executive for Good Reason, the Executive shall be entitled to the following benefits:
(i) The Company shall pay or reimburse the Executive (in addition to the Accrued Obligations) for the employer-paid portion of the premiums charged to continue medical coverage, plus a severance payment which is detailed in Section 5.3(b)(ii). Such amount is referred to hereinafter as the “Severance Benefit.” The coverage of medical premiums is pursuant to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (“COBRA”), at the same or reasonably equivalent medical coverage for the Executive (and, if applicable, the Executive’s eligible dependents) as in effect immediately prior to the Severance Date, to the extent that the Executive elects such continued coverage; provided that the Company’s obligation to make any payment or reimbursement pursuant to this clause (i) shall, subject to Section 21(b), commence with continuation coverage on the day immediately following the date the Executive’s separation from service occurs and shall cease with continuation coverage for the sixth month following the month in which the Executive’s Separation from Service occurs (or, if earlier, shall cease upon the first to occur of the Executive’s death, the date the Executive becomes eligible for coverage under the health plan of a future employer, or the date the Company ceases to offer group medical coverage to its active executive employees or the Company is otherwise under no obligation to offer COBRA continuation coverage to the Executive). To the extent the Executive elects COBRA coverage, he shall notify the Company in writing of such election prior to such coverage taking effect and complete any other continuation coverage enrollment procedures the Company may then have in place. The Company’s obligations pursuant to this Section 5.3(b)(i) are subject to the Company’s ability to comply with applicable law and provide such benefit without resulting in material adverse tax consequences.
(ii) Based upon the Company pay practices at the time of separation; on the next regularly scheduled pay date following the Executive’s Separation from Service, subject to the execution of the general release attached as Exhibit A and other requirements of Paragraph 5.4 below, if the Executive has completed at least six months active and continuous employment with the Company, the Company shall pay the Executive the amount of Base Salary equal to one (1) week at the rate of pay upon separation per every one (1) month that the Executive was actively and continuously employed by the Company up to a maximum of twelve (12) months; provided, however, the amount of these additional severance payments will be reduced dollar-for-dollar by the amount of compensation for providing services (whether as employee, consultant, independent contractor or otherwise) earned by Executive from any source following the Severance Date. In no case shall the total payment owed under this Paragraph 5.3(b)(ii) exceed the total Base Salary earned by the Executive in the prior twelve (12) months, regardless of the Executive’s tenure at the time of separation. For the purposes of clarity, any calendar month in which the Executive is actively employed by the Company for at least one (1) business day counts as a full month for the purposes of this payment. The duration of Executive’s active and continuous employment with the Company shall be calculated without regard to the employment agreement then in effect, so long as the Executive was actively and continuously employed by the Company.
(iii) Subject to the requirements of any award agreement between Executive and the Company, any other stock option or other equity-based award granted by the Company to the Executive that is then-outstanding and unvested on the Severance Date shall terminate on the Severance Date and the Executive shall have no further right with respect thereto or in respect thereof.
(c) If the Executive’s employment with the Company terminates during the Period of Employment as a result of the Executive’s death or Disability, the Company’s obligation to pay the Executive shall terminate on the date of the death or Disability. The Executive’s then-outstanding stock option and other equity-based awards granted by the Company to Executive shall be treated as provided in Section 5.3(b)(iii).
(d) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Section 5.3, if the Executive breaches his obligations under Section 6 of this Agreement at any time, from and after the date of such breach and not in any way in limitation of any right or remedy otherwise available to the Company, the Executive will no longer be entitled to, and the Company will no longer be obligated to pay, any remaining unpaid portion of the Severance Benefit, or to any continued Company-paid or reimbursed coverage pursuant to Section 5.3(b)(i); provided that, if the Executive provides the Release contemplated by Section 5.4, in no event shall the Executive be entitled to benefits pursuant to Section 5.3(b) of less than $5,000 (or the amount of such benefits, if less than $5,000), which amount the parties agree is good and adequate consideration, in and of itself, for the Executive’s Release contemplated by Section 5.4.
(e) The foregoing provisions of this Section 5.3 shall not affect: (i) the Executive’s receipt of benefits otherwise due terminated employees under group insurance coverage consistent with the terms of the applicable Company welfare benefit plan; (ii) the Executive’s rights under COBRA to continue health coverage; or (iii) the Executive’s receipt of benefits otherwise due in accordance with the terms of the Company’s 401(k) plan (if any).
5.4 Release; Exclusive Remedy; Leave.
(a) This Section 5.4 shall apply notwithstanding anything else contained in this Agreement or any stock option or other equity-based award agreement to the contrary. As a condition precedent to any Company obligation to the Executive pursuant to Section 5.3(b) or any other obligation contained herein, the Executive shall provide the Company with a valid, executed general release agreement in substantially the form attached hereto as Exhibit A (with such changes as may be reasonably required to such form to help ensure its enforceability in light of any changes in applicable law) (the “Release”), and such Release shall have not been revoked by the Executive pursuant to any revocation rights afforded by applicable law. The Company shall provide the final form of Release to the Executive not later than seven (7) days following the Severance Date, and the Executive shall be required to execute and return the Release to the Company within seven (7) days (or such longer period of time as may be required to make the Release maximally enforceable under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act or other applicable law) after the Company provides the form of Release to the Executive.
(b) The Executive agrees that the payments and benefits contemplated by Section 5.3 shall constitute the exclusive and sole remedy for any termination of his employment and the Executive covenants not to assert or pursue any other remedies at law or in equity, with respect to of the Executive’s employment with the Company or its Affiliates. The Executive agrees to resign, on the Severance Date, as an officer and director of the Company and any Affiliate of the Company, and as a fiduciary of any benefit plan of the Company or any Affiliate of the Company, and to promptly execute and provide to the Company any further documentation, as requested by the Company, to confirm such resignation, and to remove himself as a signatory on any accounts maintained by the Company or any of its Affiliates (or any of their respective benefit plans).
(c) In the event that the Company provides the Executive notice of termination without Cause pursuant to Section 5.1 or the Executive provides the Company notice of termination pursuant to Section 5.2, the Company will have the option to place the Executive on paid administrative leave during the notice period.
5.5 Certain Defined Terms.
(a) As used herein, “Accrued Obligations” means:
(i) any Base Salary that had accrued but had not been paid (including accrued and unpaid vacation time) on or before the Severance Date; and
(ii) any reimbursement due to the Executive pursuant to Section 4.2 for expenses reasonably incurred by the Executive on or before the Severance Date and documented and pre-approved, to the extent applicable, in accordance with the Company’s expense reimbursement policies in effect at the applicable time.
(b) As used herein, “Affiliate” of the Company means a Person that directly or indirectly through one or more intermediaries, controls, or is controlled by, or is under common control with, the Company. As used in this definition, the term “control,” including the correlative terms “controlling,” “controlled by” and “under common control with,” means the possession, directly or indirectly, of the power to direct or cause the direction of management or policies (whether through ownership of securities or any partnership or other ownership interest, by contract or otherwise) of a Person.
(c) As used herein, “Cause” shall mean that one or more of the following has occurred:
(i) the Executive is convicted of, pled guilty or pled nolo contendere to a felony (under the laws of the United States or any relevant state, or a similar crime or offense under the applicable laws of any relevant foreign jurisdiction);
(ii) the Executive has engaged in acts of fraud, dishonesty or other acts of misconduct or moral turpitude in the course of his duties hereunder;
(iii) the Executive fails to perform or uphold his duties under this Agreement and/or willfully fails to comply with reasonable directives of the Board;
(iv) a breach by the Executive of any provision of Section 6, or any material breach by the Executive of any other provision of this Agreement or of any other contract he is a party to with the Company or any of its Affiliates;
(v) the disregard by the Executive of any written or unwritten policy of the Company; or
(vi) the Executive’s commission of any act, occurring or coming to light during the Executive’s employment with the Company, that is materially injurious to the goodwill and reputation of the Company.
The condition or conditions referenced in clauses (iii) and (iv) above, as applicable, shall not constitute Cause unless the Company provides written notice to the Executive of the condition claimed to constitute Cause (such notice to be delivered in accordance with Section 18), and the Executive fails to remedy to the reasonable satisfaction of the Company such condition(s) within thirty (30) days of receiving such written notice thereof.
(d) As used herein, “Disability” shall mean a physical or mental impairment which, as reasonably determined by the Board, renders the Executive unable to perform the essential functions of his employment with the Company, even with reasonable accommodation that does not impose an undue hardship on the Company, for more than 90 days in any 180-day period, unless a longer period is required by federal or state law, in which case that longer period would apply.
(e) As used herein, “Good Reason” shall mean the occurrence (without the Executive’s consent) of any one or more of the following conditions:
(i) a material diminution in the Executive’s rate of Base Salary, except that any agreement by Executive to defer Base Salary for a period of time shall not constitute a material diminution in the rate of Base Salary, and in no case shall the Executive’s adjustment in Base Salary in accordance with this Agreement constitute Good Reason;
(ii) a material diminution in the Executive’s authority, duties, or responsibilities; or
(iii) a material breach by the Company of this Agreement;
provided, however, that any such condition or conditions, as applicable, shall not constitute Good Reason unless the Executive provides written notice to the Company of the condition claimed to constitute Good Reason within sixty (60) days of the initial existence of such condition(s) (such notice to be delivered in accordance with Section 18), and the Company fails to remedy to the reasonable satisfaction of the Executive such condition(s) within thirty (30) days of receiving such written notice thereof; and provided, further, that in all events the termination of the Executive’s employment with the Company shall not constitute a termination for Good Reason unless such termination occurs not more than one hundred and twenty (120) days following the initial existence of the condition claimed to constitute Good Reason and the Executive complies with all other terms of this paragraph 5.5(e).
(f) As used herein, the term “Person” shall be construed broadly and shall include, without limitation, an individual, a partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, an association, a joint stock company, a trust, a joint venture, an unincorporated organization and a governmental entity or any department, agency or political subdivision thereof.
(g) As used herein, a “Separation from Service” occurs when the Executive dies, retires, or otherwise has a termination of employment with the Company that constitutes a “separation from service” within the meaning of Treasury Regulation Section 1.409A-1(h)(1), without regard to the optional alternative definitions available thereunder.
5.6. Notice of Termination; Employment Following Expiration of Period of Employment.
Any termination of the Executive’s employment under this Agreement shall be communicated by written notice of termination from the terminating party to the other party. This notice of termination must be delivered in accordance with Section 18 and must indicate the specific provision(s) of this Agreement relied upon in effecting the termination. For the sake of clarity, at the conclusion of the Period of Employment, this Agreement shall terminate without further action by either party hereto, and no extension of this Agreement is valid except as memorialized in a writing signed by the Executive and the Chief Executive Officer. If the Company or the Executive do not renew the terms of this agreement or execute a new agreement following the expiration of the Period of Employment, the Executive’s employment by the Company following the expiration of the Period of Employment shall be on an at-will basis and may be terminated by the Company or by the Executive at any time, for any reason (or for no reason), with or without advance notice.
6. Protective Covenants.
(a) The Executive understands that the nature of the Executive’s 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 Company’s ability to reserve the Confidential Information 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.
6.1 Confidential Information; Inventions.
(a) The Executive shall not disclose or use at any time, either during the Period of Employment or thereafter, any Confidential Information (as defined below) of which the Executive is or becomes aware, whether or not such information is developed by him, except to the extent that such disclosure or use is directly related to and required by the Executive’s performance in good faith of duties for the Company. The Executive will take all appropriate steps to safeguard Confidential Information in his possession and to protect it against disclosure, misuse, espionage, loss and theft. The Executive shall deliver to the Company at the termination of the Period of Employment, or at any time the Company may request, all memoranda, notes, plans, records, reports, computer tapes and software and other documents and data (and copies thereof) relating to the Confidential Information or the Work Product (as hereinafter defined) of the business of the Company or any of its Affiliates which the Executive may then possess or have under his control. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Executive may truthfully respond to a lawful and valid subpoena or other legal process, but shall give the Company the earliest possible notice thereof, shall, as much in advance of the return date as possible, make available to the Company and its counsel the documents and other information sought, and shall assist the Company and such counsel in resisting or otherwise responding to such process.
(b) The Executive understands that nothing in this Agreement is intended to limit the Executive’s right (i) to discuss the terms, wages, and working conditions of the Executive’s employment to the extent permitted and/or protected by applicable labor laws, (ii) to report Confidential Information in a confidential manner either to a federal, state or local government official or to an attorney where such disclosure is solely for the purpose of reporting or investigating a suspected violation of law, (iii) testify in an administrative, legislative or judicial proceeding about alleged criminal conduct or alleged sexual harassment; or (iv) to disclose Confidential Information in an anti-retaliation lawsuit or other legal proceeding, so long as that disclosure or filing is made under seal and the Executive does not otherwise disclose such Confidential Information, except pursuant to court order. The Company encourages Executive, to the extent legally permitted, to give the Company the earliest possible notice of any such report or disclosure.
(i) Pursuant to the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, the Executive acknowledges that he may not be held criminally or civilly liable under any federal or state trade secret law for the disclosure of Confidential Information that: (i) is made in confidence to a federal, state, or local government official, either directly or indirectly, or to an attorney solely for the purpose of reporting or investigating a suspected violation of law; or is made in a complaint or other document that is filed in a lawsuit or other proceeding, provided that such filing is made under seal. Further, the Executive understands that the Company will not retaliate against him in any way for any such disclosure made in accordance with the law. In the event a disclosure is made, and the Executive files any type of proceeding against the Company alleging that the Company retaliated against him because of his disclosure, the Executive may disclose the relevant Confidential Information to his attorney and may use the Confidential Information in the proceeding if (i) the Executive files any document containing the Confidential Information under seal, and (ii) the Executive does not otherwise disclose the Confidential Information except pursuant to court or arbitral order.
(ii) Nothing in this Agreement or any other agreement that Executive has with the Company shall prohibit Executive from (i) disclosing the underlying facts or circumstances relating to claims of sexual harassment, sex discrimination, sexual assault, failure to prevent an act of workplace harassment or discrimination based on sex or an act of retaliation against a person for reporting harassment or discrimination based on sex or any other unlawful or potentially unlawful conduct or (ii) responding to a valid subpoena, court order or similar legal process; provided, however, that prior to making any such disclosure, Executive shall provide the Company with written notice of the subpoena, court order or similar legal process sufficiently in advance of such disclosure to afford the Company a reasonable opportunity to challenge the subpoena, court order or similar legal process.
(c) As used in this Agreement, the term “Confidential Information” means information that is not generally known to the public and that is used, developed or obtained by the Company or its Affiliates in connection with their respective businesses, including, but not limited to, information, observations and data obtained by the Executive while employed by the Company or its Affiliates or any predecessors thereof (including those obtained prior to the Effective Date) concerning (i) the business or affairs of the Company or its Affiliates (or such predecessors), (ii) products or services, (iii) fees, costs and pricing structures and strategies, (iv) designs, (v) analyses, (vi) drawings, photographs and reports, (vii) computer software, including operating systems, applications and program listings, (viii) flow charts, manuals and documentation, (ix) databases, (x) accounting and business methods, (xi) inventions, devices, new developments, product roadmaps, methods and processes, whether patentable or unpatentable and whether or not reduced to practice, (xii) customers and clients, customer or client lists, and the preferences of, and negotiations with, customers and clients, (xiii) personnel information of other employees and independent contractors (including their compensation, unique skills, experience and expertise, and disciplinary matters), (xiv) other copyrightable works, (xv) all production methods, processes, technology and trade secrets, and (xvi) all similar and related information in whatever form. Confidential Information will not include any information that has been published (other than a disclosure by the Executive in breach of this Agreement) in a form generally available to the public prior to the date the Executive proposes to disclose or use such information. Confidential Information will not be deemed to have been published merely because individual portions of the information have been separately published, but only if all material features comprising such information have been published in combination.
(d) As used in this Agreement, the term “Work Product” means all inventions, innovations, improvements, technical information, systems, software developments, methods, designs, analyses, drawings, reports, service marks, trademarks, trade names, logos and all similar or related information (whether patentable or unpatentable, copyrightable, registerable as a trademark, reduced to writing, or otherwise) which relates to the Company’s or any of its Affiliates’ actual or anticipated business, research and development or existing or future products or services and which are conceived, developed or made by the Executive (whether or not during usual business hours, whether or not by the use of the facilities of the Company or any of its Affiliates, and whether or not alone or in conjunction with any other person) while employed by the Company or its Affiliates (including those conceived, developed or made prior to the Effective Date) together with all patent applications, letters patent, trademark, trade name and service mark applications or registrations, copyrights and reissues thereof that may be granted for or upon any of the foregoing. All Work Product that the Executive may have discovered, invented or originated during his employment by the Company or any of its Affiliates prior to the Effective Date, that he may discover, invent or originate during the Period of Employment or at any time in the period of twelve (12) months after the Severance Date, shall be the exclusive property of the Company and its Affiliates, as applicable, and Executive hereby assigns all of Executive’s right, title and interest in and to such Work Product to the Company or its applicable Affiliate, including all intellectual property rights therein. Executive shall promptly disclose all Work Product to the Company, shall execute at the request of the Company any assignments or other documents the Company may deem necessary to protect or perfect its (or any of its Affiliates’, as applicable) rights therein, and shall assist the Company, at the Company’s expense, in obtaining, defending and enforcing the Company’s (or any of its Affiliates’, as applicable) rights therein. The Executive hereby appoints the Company as his attorney-in-fact to execute on his behalf any assignments or other documents deemed necessary by the Company to protect or perfect the Company, the Company’s (and any of its Affiliates’, as applicable) rights to any Work Product.
6.2 Restriction on Competition. The Executive agrees that if the Executive were to become employed by, or substantially involved in, the business of a competitor of the Company or any of its Affiliates during the twelve (12) month period following the Severance Date, it would be very difficult for the Executive not to rely on or use the Company’s and its Affiliates’ trade secrets and confidential information. Thus, to avoid the inevitable disclosure of the Company’s and its Affiliates’ trade secrets and confidential information, and to protect such trade secrets and confidential information and the Company’s and its Affiliates’ relationships and goodwill with customers, during the Period of Employment and for a period of twelve (12) months after the Severance Date, the Executive will not directly or indirectly through any other Person engage in, enter the employ of, render any services to, have any ownership interest in, nor participate in the financing, operation, management or control of, the financial operations or management of any Competing Business, except as otherwise authorized under section 1.3. For purposes of this Agreement, the phrase “directly or indirectly through any other Person engage in” shall include, without limitation, any direct or indirect ownership or profit participation interest in such enterprise, whether as an owner, stockholder, member, partner, joint venturer or otherwise, and shall include any direct or indirect participation in such enterprise as an employee, consultant, director, officer, licensor of technology or otherwise. For purposes of this Agreement, “Competing Business” means a Person anywhere in the continental United States and Canada where the Company and its Affiliates engage in business, or reasonably anticipate engaging in business, on the Severance Date (the “Restricted Area”) that at any time during the Period of Employment has competed, or any and time during the twelve (12) month period following the Severance Date competes, with any business engaged in by the Company or any of its Affiliates. After the expiration of the term, the Company maintains the right to waive any or all of this requirement. Nothing herein shall prohibit the Executive from being a passive owner of not more than 2% of the outstanding stock of any class of a corporation which is publicly traded, so long as the Executive has no active participation in the business of such corporation.
6.3 Non-Solicitation of Employees and Consultants. During the Period of Employment and for a period of twelve (12) months after the Severance Date, the Executive will not directly or indirectly through any other Person solicit, induce or encourage, or attempt to solicit, induce or encourage, any employee or independent contractor of the Company or any Affiliate of the Company to leave the employ or service, as applicable, of the Company or such Affiliate, or become employed or engaged by any third party, or in any way interfere with the relationship between the Company or any such Affiliate, on the one hand, and any employee or independent contractor thereof, on the other hand.
6.4 Non-Interference with Customers. During the Period of Employment and for a period of twelve (12) months after the Severance Date, the Executive will not, directly or indirectly through any other Person, influence or attempt to influence customers, vendors, suppliers, licensors, lessors, joint venturers, associates, consultants, agents, or partners of the Company or any Affiliate of the Company to divert their business away from the Company or such Affiliate, and the Executive will not otherwise interfere with, disrupt or attempt to disrupt the business relationships, contractual or otherwise, between the Company or any Affiliate of the Company, on the one hand, and any of its or their customers, suppliers, vendors, lessors, licensors, joint venturers, associates, officers, employees, consultants, managers, partners, members or investors, on the other hand, in the Restricted Area.
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 twelve (12) months, to run consecutively, beginning on the last day of the Executive’s 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 Company’s current customers for purposes of offering or accepting goods or services similar to or competitive with those offered by the Company.
This restriction shall only apply to:
(a) Customers the Executive contacted in any way during the past twelve (12) months prior to the termination of Executive’s employment;
(b) Customers about whom the Executive has Trade Secret or Confidential Information; and
(c) Customers who did business with the Company during the Executive’s employment with the Company.
6.5 Cooperation; Social Media. Following the Executive’s last day of employment by the Company, the Executive shall reasonably cooperate with the Company and its Affiliates in connection with the transition of the Executive’s duties, with respect to any internal or governmental investigation or administrative, regulatory, arbitral or judicial proceeding involving the Company and any Affiliates with respect to matters relating to the Executive’s employment with, or service as a member of the board of directors of the Company or any Affiliate, and with respect to any audit of the financial statements of the Company or any Affiliate with respect to the period of time when the Executive was employed by the Company or any Affiliate. The Company will reimburse the Executive for any expenses that he reasonably incurs in connection with such cooperation. In addition, on the last day of Executive’s employment, Executive agrees to update Executive’s profile on social media websites (such as LinkedIn) to reflect that Executive is no longer an employee of the Company.
6.6 Understanding of Covenants. The Executive acknowledges that, in the course of his employment with the Company and/or its Affiliates and their predecessors, he has become familiar, or will become familiar with the Company’s and its Affiliates’ and their predecessors’ trade secrets and with other confidential and proprietary information concerning the Company, its Affiliates and their respective predecessors and that his services have been and will be of special, unique and extraordinary value to the Company and its Affiliates. The Executive agrees that the foregoing covenants set forth in this Section 6 (together, the “Restrictive Covenants”) are reasonable and necessary to protect the Company’s and its Affiliates’ trade secrets and other confidential and proprietary information, good will, stable workforce, and customer relations.
Without limiting the generality of the Executive’s agreement in the preceding paragraph, the Executive (i) represents that he is familiar with and has carefully considered the Restrictive Covenants, (ii) represents that he is fully aware of his obligations hereunder, (iii) agrees to the reasonableness of the length of time, scope and geographic coverage, as applicable, of the Restrictive Covenants, (iv) agrees that the Company and its Affiliates currently conducts business throughout the continental United States and Canada, and (v) agrees that the Restrictive Covenants will continue in effect for the applicable periods set forth above in this Section 6 regardless of whether the Executive is then entitled to receive severance pay or benefits from the Company. The Executive understands that the Restrictive Covenants may limit his ability to earn a livelihood in a business similar to the business of the Company and any of its Affiliates, but he nevertheless believes that he has received and will receive sufficient consideration and other benefits as an employee of the Company and as otherwise provided hereunder or as described in the recitals hereto to clearly justify such restrictions which, in any event (given his education, skills and ability), the Executive does not believe would prevent him from otherwise earning a living. The Executive agrees that the Restrictive Covenants do not confer a benefit upon the Company disproportionate to the detriment of the Executive.
6.7 Enforcement. The Executive agrees that the Executive’s services are unique and that he has access to Confidential Information and Work Product. Accordingly, without limiting the generality of Section 17, the Executive agrees that a breach by the Executive of any of the covenants in this Section 6 may cause immediate and irreparable harm to the Company that would be difficult or impossible to measure, and that damages to the Company for any such injury would therefore be an inadequate remedy for any such breach. Therefore, the Executive agrees that in the event of any breach or threatened breach of any provision of this Section 6, the Company shall be entitled, in addition to and without limitation upon all other remedies the Company may have under this Agreement, at law or otherwise, to seek specific performance, injunctive relief and/or other appropriate relief (without posting any bond or deposit) in order to enforce or prevent any violations of the provisions of this Section 6, or require the Executive to account for and pay over to the Company all compensation, profits, moneys, accruals, increments or other benefits derived from or received as a result of any transactions constituting a breach of this Section 6 if and when final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction or arbitrator, as applicable, is so entered against the Executive. The Executive further agrees that the applicable period of time any Restrictive Covenant is in effect following the Severance Date, as determined pursuant to the foregoing provisions of this Section 6, shall be extended by the same amount of time that Executive is in breach of any Restrictive Covenant following the Severance Date.
7. Withholding Taxes. Notwithstanding anything else herein to the contrary, the Company may withhold (or cause there to be withheld, as the case may be) from any amounts otherwise due or payable under or pursuant to this Agreement such federal, state and local income, employment, or other taxes as may be required to be withheld pursuant to any applicable law or regulation. Except for such withholding rights, the Executive is solely responsible for any and all tax liability that may arise with respect to the compensation provided under or pursuant to this Agreement.
8. Successors and Assigns.
(a) This Agreement is personal to the Executive and without the prior written consent of the Company shall not be assignable by the Executive otherwise than by will or the laws of descent and distribution. This Agreement shall inure to the benefit of and be enforceable by the Executive’s legal representatives.
(b) This Agreement shall inure to the benefit of and be binding upon the Company and its successors and assigns. Without limiting the generality of the preceding sentence, the Company will require any successor (whether direct or indirect, by purchase, merger, consolidation or otherwise) to all or substantially all of the business and/or assets of the Company to assume expressly and agree to perform this Agreement in the same manner and to the same extent that the Company would be required to perform it if no such succession had taken place. As used in this Agreement, “Company” shall mean the Company as hereinbefore defined and any successor or assignee, as applicable, which assumes and agrees to perform this Agreement by operation of law or otherwise.
9. Number and Gender; Examples. Where the context requires, the singular shall include the plural, the plural shall include the singular, and any gender shall include all other genders. Where specific language is used to clarify by example a general statement contained herein, such specific language shall not be deemed to modify, limit or restrict in any manner the construction of the general statement to which it relates.
10. Section Headings. The section headings, and titles of paragraphs and subparagraphs contained in this Agreement are for the purpose of convenience only, and they neither form a part of this Agreement nor are they to be used in the construction or interpretation thereof.
11. Governing Law. This Agreement will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of Arizona, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflicting provision or rule (whether of the state of Arizona or any other jurisdiction) that would cause the laws of any jurisdiction other than the state of Arizona to be applied. In furtherance of the foregoing, the internal law of the state of Arizona will control the interpretation and construction of this Agreement, even if under such jurisdiction’s choice of law or conflict of law analysis, the substantive law of some other jurisdiction would ordinarily apply.
12. Severability. It is the desire and intent of the parties hereto that the provisions of this Agreement be enforced to the fullest extent permissible under the laws and public policies applied in each jurisdiction in which enforcement is sought. Accordingly, if any particular provision of this Agreement shall be adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction or determined by an arbitrator pursuant to Section 16 to be invalid, prohibited or unenforceable under any present or future law, and if the rights and obligations of any party under this Agreement will not be materially and adversely affected thereby, such provision, as to such jurisdiction, shall be ineffective, without invalidating the remaining provisions of this Agreement or affecting the validity or enforceability of such provision in any other jurisdiction, and to this end the provisions of this Agreement are declared to be severable; furthermore, in lieu of such invalid or unenforceable provision there will be added automatically as a part of this Agreement, a legal, valid and enforceable provision as similar in terms to such invalid or unenforceable provision as may be possible. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if such provision could be more narrowly drawn (as to geographic scope, period of duration or otherwise) so as not to be invalid, prohibited or unenforceable in such jurisdiction, it shall, as to such jurisdiction, be so narrowly drawn, without invalidating the remaining provisions of this Agreement or affecting the validity or enforceability of such provision in any other jurisdiction.
13. Entire Agreement. This Agreement embodies the entire agreement of the parties hereto respecting the matters within its scope. This Agreement supersedes all prior and contemporaneous agreements of the parties hereto that directly or indirectly bears upon the subject matter hereof, including any prior employment agreements with the Company or any of its Affiliates, including and without limitation the employment agreement between the Executive and the Company dated July 13, 2020. Any prior negotiations, correspondence, agreements, proposals or understandings relating to the subject matter hereof shall be deemed to have been merged into this Agreement, and to the extent inconsistent herewith, such negotiations, correspondence, agreements, proposals, or understandings shall be deemed to be of no force or effect. There are no representations, warranties, or agreements, whether express or implied, or oral or written, with respect to the subject matter hereof, except as expressly set forth herein.
14. Modifications. This Agreement may not be amended, modified or changed (in whole or in part), except by a formal, definitive written agreement expressly referring to this Agreement, which agreement is executed by both of the parties hereto.
15. Waiver. Neither the failure nor any delay on the part of a party to exercise any right, remedy, power or privilege under this Agreement shall operate as a waiver thereof, nor shall any single or partial exercise of any right, remedy, power or privilege preclude any other or further exercise of the same or of any right, remedy, power or privilege, nor shall any waiver of any right, remedy, power or privilege with respect to any occurrence be construed as a waiver of such right, remedy, power or privilege with respect to any other occurrence. No waiver shall be effective unless it is in writing and is signed by the party asserted to have granted such waiver.
16. Arbitration. Except as provided in Sections 6.7 and 17, any non-time barred, legally actionable controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this Agreement, its enforcement, arbitrability or interpretation, or because of an alleged breach, default, or misrepresentation in connection with any of its provisions, or any other non-time barred, legally actionable controversy or claim arising out of or relating to the Executive’s employment or association with the Company or termination of the same, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, any alleged violation of state or federal statute, common law or constitution, shall be submitted to individual, final and binding arbitration, to be held in Maricopa County, Arizona, before a single arbitrator selected from Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (“JAMS”), in accordance with the then-current JAMS Arbitration Rules and Procedures for employment disputes, as modified by the terms and conditions in this Section (which may be found at www.jamsadr.com under the Rules/Clauses tab). The parties will select the arbitrator by mutual agreement or, if the parties cannot agree, then by striking from a list of qualified arbitrators supplied by JAMS from their labor and employment law panel. Final resolution of any dispute through arbitration may include any remedy or relief that is provided for through any applicable state or federal statutes, or common law. Statutes of limitations shall be the same as would be applicable were the action to be brought in court. The arbitrator selected pursuant to this Agreement may order such discovery as is necessary for a full and fair exploration of the issues and dispute, consistent with the expedited nature of arbitration. At the conclusion of the arbitration, the arbitrator shall issue a written decision that sets forth the essential findings and conclusions upon which the arbitrator’s award or decision is based. Any award or relief granted by the arbitrator under this Agreement shall be final and binding on the parties to this Agreement and may be enforced by any court of competent jurisdiction. The Company will pay those arbitration costs that are unique to arbitration, including the arbitrator’s fee (recognizing that each side bears its own deposition, witness, expert and attorneys’ fees and other expenses to the same extent as if the matter were being heard in court). If, however, any party prevails on a statutory claim, which affords the prevailing party attorneys’ fees and costs, then the arbitrator may award reasonable fees and costs to the prevailing party. The arbitrator may not award attorneys’ fees to a party that would not otherwise be entitled to such an award under the applicable statute. The arbitrator shall resolve any dispute as to the reasonableness of any fee or cost. Except as provided in Section 6.7 and 17, the parties acknowledge and agree that they are hereby waiving any rights to trial by jury or a court in any action or proceeding brought by either of the parties against the other in connection with any matter whatsoever arising out of or in any way connected with this Agreement or the Executive’s employment.
17. Remedies. Each of the parties to this Agreement and any such person or entity granted rights hereunder whether or not such person or entity is a signatory hereto shall be entitled to enforce its rights under this Agreement specifically to recover damages and costs for any breach of any provision of this Agreement and to exercise all other rights existing in its favor. The parties hereto agree and acknowledge that money damages may not be an adequate remedy for any breach of the provisions of this Agreement and that each party may in its sole discretion apply to any court of law or equity of competent jurisdiction for provisional injunctive or equitable relief and/or other appropriate equitable relief (without posting any bond or deposit) in order to enforce or prevent any violations of the provisions of this Agreement. Each party shall be responsible for paying its own attorneys’ fees, costs and other expenses pertaining to any such legal proceeding and enforcement regardless of whether an award or finding or any judgment or verdict thereon is entered against either party.
18. Notices. Any notice provided for in this Agreement must be in writing and must be either personally delivered, transmitted via telecopier or email, mailed by first class mail (postage prepaid and return receipt requested) or sent by reputable overnight courier service (charges prepaid) to the recipient at the address below indicated or at such other address or to the attention of such other person as the recipient party has specified by prior written notice to the sending party. Notices will be deemed to have been given hereunder and received when delivered personally, when received if transmitted via telecopier, five days after deposit in the U.S. mail and one day after deposit with a reputable overnight courier service.
if to the Company:
Tilt Holdings, Inc.
2801 E Camelback Rd Suite 180
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Attention: General Counsel
if to the Executive, to the address most recently on file in the payroll records of the Company.
19. Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in any number of counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original as against any party whose signature appears thereon, and all of which together shall constitute one and the same instrument. This Agreement shall become binding when one or more counterparts hereof, individually or taken together, shall bear the signatures of all of the parties reflected hereon as signatories. Photographic or electronic copies of such signed counterparts may be used in lieu of the originals for any purpose.
20. Legal Counsel; Mutual Drafting. Each party recognizes that this is a legally binding contract and acknowledges and agrees that they have had the opportunity to consult with legal counsel of their choice. Each party has cooperated in the drafting, negotiation and preparation of this Agreement. Hence, in any construction to be made of this Agreement, the same shall not be construed against either party on the basis of that party being the drafter of such language. The Executive agrees and acknowledges that he has read and understands this Agreement, is entering into it freely and voluntarily, and has been advised to seek counsel prior to entering into this Agreement and has had ample opportunity to do so. Executive hereby acknowledges that neither the Company nor any of its Affiliates, shareholders, directors, managers, officers, employees, agents or representatives have provided Executive with any tax-related advice with respect to the matters covered by this Agreement. Executive understands and acknowledges that Executive is solely responsible for obtaining Executive’s own tax advice with respect to the matters covered by this Agreement.
21. Section 409A.
(a) It is intended that any amounts payable under this Agreement shall either be exempt from or comply with Section 409A of the Code (including the Treasury regulations and other published guidance relating thereto) (“Code Section 409A”) so as not to subject the Executive to payment of any additional tax, penalty or interest imposed under Code Section 409A. The provisions of this Agreement shall be construed and interpreted to avoid the imputation of any such additional tax, penalty or interest under Code Section 409A yet preserve (to the nearest extent reasonably possible) the intended benefit payable to the Executive. Any installment payments provided for in this Agreement shall be treated as a series of separate payments for purposes of Code Section 409A. Except for the Company’s responsibility to withhold applicable income and employment taxes from compensation paid or provided to Executive, the Company will not be responsible for the payment of any applicable taxes on compensation paid or provided pursuant to this Agreement. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement to the contrary, neither the time nor schedule of any payment under this Agreement may be accelerated or subject to further deferral except as permitted by Code Section 409A. Except as set forth herein and as permitted by Code Section 409A, Executive does not have any right to make any election regarding the time or form of any payment due under this Agreement.
(b) If the Executive is a “specified employee” within the meaning of Treasury Regulation Section 1.409A-1(i) as of the date of the Executive’s Separation from Service, the Executive shall not be entitled to any payment or benefit pursuant to Section 5.3(b) or (c) until the earlier of (i) the date which is six (6) months after his or her Separation from Service for any reason other than death, or (ii) the date of the Executive’s death. The provisions of this Section 21(b) shall only apply if, and to the extent, required to avoid the imputation of any tax, penalty or interest pursuant to Code Section 409A. Any amounts otherwise payable to the Executive upon or in the six (6) month period following the Executive’s Separation from Service that are not so paid by reason of this Section 21(b) shall be paid (without interest) as soon as practicable (and in all events within thirty (30) days) after the date that is six (6) months after the Executive’s Separation from Service (or, if earlier, as soon as practicable, and in all events within thirty (30) days, after the date of the Executive’s death).
(c) To the extent that any benefits pursuant to Section 5.3(b)(ii) or reimbursements pursuant to Section 4.2 are taxable to the Executive, any reimbursement payment due to the Executive pursuant to any such provision shall be paid to the Executive on or before the last day of the Executive’s taxable year following the taxable year in which the related expense was incurred. The benefits and reimbursements pursuant to such provisions are not subject to liquidation or exchange for another benefit and the amount of such benefits and reimbursements that the Executive receives in one taxable year shall not affect the amount of such benefits or reimbursements that the Executive receives in any other taxable year.
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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Company and the Executive have executed this Agreement as of the Effective Date.
|TILT Holdings, Inc.|
|a British Columbia corporation|
|By:||/s/ Mark Scatterday|
|Title:||Chief Executive Officer|
|By:||/s/ Gary F Santo Jr|
FORM OF GENERAL RELEASE AGREEMENT
1. Release. Gary Santo (“Executive”), on his own behalf and on behalf of his descendants, dependents, heirs, executors, administrators, assigns and successors, and each of them, hereby acknowledges full and complete satisfaction of and releases and discharges and covenants not to sue Tilt Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”), its divisions, subsidiaries, parents, or affiliated corporations, past and present, and each of them, as well as its and their assignees, successors, directors, officers, stockholders, partners, representatives, attorneys, agents or employees, past or present, or any of them (individually and collectively, “Releasees”), from and with respect to any and all claims, agreements, obligations, demands and causes of action, known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, arising out of or in any way connected with Executive’s employment or any other relationship with or interest in the Company or the termination thereof, including without limiting the generality of the foregoing, any claim for severance pay, profit sharing, bonus or similar benefit, pension, retirement, life insurance, health or medical insurance or any other fringe benefit, or disability, or any other claims, agreements, obligations, demands and causes of action, known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected resulting from any act or omission by or on the part of Releasees committed or omitted prior to the date of this General Release Agreement (this “Agreement”) set forth below, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, any claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, or any other federal, state or local law, regulation, ordinance, constitution or common law (collectively, the “Claims”); provided, however, that the foregoing release does not apply to any obligation of the Company to Executive pursuant to any of the following: (1) any right to indemnification that Executive may have pursuant to the Company’s bylaws, its corporate charter or under any written indemnification agreement with the Company (or any corresponding provision of any subsidiary or affiliate of the Company) with respect to any loss, damages or expenses (including but not limited to attorneys’ fees to the extent otherwise provided) that Executive may in the future incur with respect to his service as an employee, officer or director of the Company or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates; (2) with respect to any rights that Executive may have to insurance coverage for such losses, damages or expenses under any Company (or subsidiary or affiliate) directors and officers liability insurance policy; (3) any rights to continued medical and dental coverage that Executive may have under COBRA; or (4) any rights to payment of benefits that Executive may have under a retirement plan sponsored or maintained by the Company that is intended to qualify under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. In addition, this release does not cover any Claim that cannot be so released as a matter of applicable law. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, nothing in this Agreement prohibits Executive from filing a charge with or participating in an investigation conducted by any state or federal government agencies. However, Executive does waive, to the maximum extent permitted by law, the right to receive any monetary or other recovery, should any agency or any other person pursue any claims on Executive’s behalf arising out of any claim released pursuant to this Agreement. For clarity, and as required by law, such waiver does not prevent Executive from accepting a whistleblower award from the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Section 21F of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Executive acknowledges and agrees that he has received any and all leave and other benefits that he has been and is entitled to pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
2. Acknowledgement of Payment of Wages. Except for accrued vacation (which the parties agree totals approximately [____] days of pay) and salary for the current pay period, Executive acknowledges that he has received all amounts owed for his regular and usual salary (including, but not limited to, any bonus, incentive or other wages), and usual benefits through the date of this Agreement.
3. Waiver of Unknown Claims. This Agreement is intended to be effective as a general release of and bar to each and every Claim hereinabove specified. Executive acknowledges that he later may discover claims, demands, causes of action or facts in addition to or different from those which Executive now knows or believes to exist with respect to the subject matter of this Agreement and which, if known or suspected at the time of executing this Agreement, may have materially affected its terms. Nevertheless, Executive hereby waives, as to the Claims, any claims, demands, and causes of action that might arise as a result of such different or additional claims, demands, causes of action or facts.
4. ADEA Waiver. Executive expressly acknowledges and agrees that by entering into this Agreement, he is waiving any and all rights or claims that he may have arising under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended (the “ADEA”), and that this waiver and release is knowing and voluntary. Executive and the Company agree that this waiver and release does not apply to any rights or claims that may arise under the ADEA after the date Executive signs this Agreement. Executive further expressly acknowledges and agrees that:
(a) In return for this Agreement, he will receive consideration beyond that which he was already entitled to receive before executing this Agreement;
(b) He is hereby advised in writing by this Agreement to consult with an attorney before signing this Agreement;
(c) He was given a copy of this Agreement on [______, 2021], and informed that he had [twenty-one (21)] days within which to consider this Agreement and that if he wished to execute this Agreement prior to the expiration of such -day period he will have done so voluntarily and with full knowledge that he is waiving his right to have [twenty-one (21)] days to consider this Agreement; and that such [twenty-one (21)] day period to consider this Agreement would not and will not be re-started or extended based on any changes, whether material or immaterial, that are or were made to this Agreement in such [twenty-one (21)] day period after he received it;
(d) He was informed that he had seven (7) days following the date of execution of this Agreement in which to revoke this Agreement, and this Agreement will become null and void if Executive elects revocation during that time. Any revocation must be in writing and must be received by the Company during the seven-day revocation period. In the event that Executive exercises this revocation right, neither the Company nor Executive will have any obligation under this Agreement. Any notice of revocation should be sent by Executive in writing to the Company (attention Tim Conder), 2801 E Camelback Road Suite 180, Phoenix, AZ 85016, so that it is received within the seven-day period following execution of this Agreement by Executive.
(e) Nothing in this Agreement prevents or precludes Executive from challenging or seeking a determination in good faith of the validity of this waiver under the ADEA, nor does it impose any condition precedent, penalties or costs for doing so, unless specifically authorized by federal law.
5. No Transferred Claims. Executive represents and warrants to the Company that he has not heretofore assigned or transferred to any person not a party to this Agreement any released matter or any part or portion thereof.
6. Return of Property. Executive represents and covenants that he has returned to the to the Company (a) all physical, computerized, electronic or other types of records, documents, proposals, notes, lists, files and any and all other materials, including computerized electronic information, that refer, relate or otherwise pertain to the Company or any of its Affiliates (as defined in the Employment Agreement) that were in Executive’s possession, subject to Executive’s control or held by Executive for others; and (b) all property or equipment that Executive has been issued by the Company or any of its Affiliates during the course of his employment or property or equipment that Executive otherwise possessed, including any keys, credit cards, office or telephone equipment, computers (and any software, power cords, manuals, computer bag and other equipment that was provided to Executive with any such computers), tablets, smartphones, and other devices. Executive acknowledges that he is not authorized to retain any physical, computerized, electronic or other types of copies of any such physical, computerized, electronic or other types of records, documents, proposals, notes, lists, files or materials, and is not authorized to retain any property or equipment of the Company or any of its Affiliates. Executive further agrees that Executive will immediately forward to the Company (and thereafter destroy any electronic copies thereof) any business information relating to the Company or any of its Affiliates that has been or is inadvertently directed to Executive following the date of the termination of Executive’s employment.
7. Miscellaneous. The following provisions shall apply for purposes of this Agreement:
(a) Number and Gender. Where the context requires, the singular shall include the plural, the plural shall include the singular, and any gender shall include all other genders.
(b) Section Headings. The section headings, and titles of paragraphs and subparagraphs contained in, this Agreement are for the purpose of convenience only, and they neither form a part of this Agreement nor are they to be used in the construction or interpretation thereof.
(c) Governing Law. This Agreement, and all questions relating to its validity, interpretation, performance and enforcement, as well as the legal relations hereby created between the parties hereto, shall be governed by and construed under, and interpreted and enforced in accordance with, the laws of the State of Arizona notwithstanding any other conflict of law provision to the contrary.
(d) Severability. If any provision of this Agreement or the application thereof is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this Agreement which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or applications and to this end the provisions of this Agreement are declared to be severable.
(e) Modifications. This Agreement may not be amended, modified or changed (in whole or in part), except by a formal, definitive written agreement expressly referring to this Agreement, which agreement is executed by both of the parties hereto.
(f) Waiver. No waiver of any breach of any term or provision of this Agreement shall be construed to be, nor shall be, a waiver of any other breach of this Agreement. No waiver shall be binding unless in writing and signed by the party waiving the breach.
(g) Arbitration. Any controversy arising out of or relating to this Agreement shall be submitted to arbitration in accordance with the arbitration provisions of the Employment Agreement.
(h) Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, and each counterpart, when executed, shall have the efficacy of a signed original. Photographic copies of such signed counterparts may be used in lieu of the originals for any purpose.
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The undersigned have read and understand the consequences of this Agreement and voluntarily sign it. The undersigned declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Arizona that the foregoing is true and correct.
EXECUTED this _________ day of ____________ 20____.
EXECUTED this _________ day of ____________ 20____.
|Tilt Holdings, Inc.|