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Cohere Responds to Military Discrimination Suit
[May 01, 2013]

Cohere Responds to Military Discrimination Suit

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--

A claim filed by former Cohere Communications college intern, William Pfunk, alleging discriminatory treatment by the telecom company due to his military status, is "utterly baseless," says Cohere CEO & Founder Steve Francesco.

As an intern and not an employee, Cohere believes Mr. Pfunk is not protected by the statute under which he has filed his claim. Francesco, in a statement added, "even if he had been a Cohere employee, Mr. Pfunk deserved to be removed from our internship program because of his irresponsible and inconsiderate conduct."

Mr. Pfunk initially relied on his military background and contacts with friends and family to obtain a spot in Cohere's internship program. His status as an Army Reservist was a principal reason for being invited to join the program, making his claim against the company all the more puzzling and shocking.

Well-disposed toward people in the military, Mr. Francesco himself is a U.S. Navy veteran, hailing from a military family with a long history of service to the country. For 38 years Mr. Francesco's father worked in weapons development for the US. Navy and his brother currently works as a physicist with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

According to Cohere, Mr. Pfunk encountered substantial problems during his short time interning at the company, and so, was not viewed as a candidate for employment. However, when Mr. Pfunk e-mailed Mr. Francesco on the evening of April 8, 2012 (Easter Sunday) announcing he would not be present the following day and rest of the week, to attend Army training exercises, Mr. Pfunk left Cohere with no choice but to remove him from its internship program..

Contrary to Mr. Pfunk's allegations, documents show he was aware of this exercise for at least several days prior to his last-minute e-mail, yet failed to give Cohere prior notice of his absence. Cohere viewed Mr. Pfunk's conduct as an indication he was no longer interested in continuing his internship or in being considered for employment with Cohere after graduating from college. In light of these facts and compounded by Mr. Pfunk's own performance issues, Cohere believes it acted fairly and justifiably by releasing him from its internship program.

Gallagher, Harnett & Lagalante LLP are representing both Steve Francesco and Cohere Communications in this matter.


Since 2004, Cohere Communications has developed and deployed the highest level Business VoIP and Telephony service, Cloud computing and security solutions, servicing a number of enterprises which include multimedia conglomerates, international trading firms, stock exchanges and Fortune 500 companies. Operating a private network on behalf of clients, Cohere leverages relationships with over 14 national and international Tier 1 & 2 Network providers, ensuring 99.999% uptime and true resiliency of core technology for delivery of all client-facing applications. For more information on Cohere, visit or call toll free at: 1-888-764-4956

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