Bryan Rhode – Greed, Lawsuits and ACUMEN Apparel

Are you interested in buying from ACUMEN Apparel? Then you should know a bit about its founder – Bryan Rhode. 

The guy was in a legal battle just recently but the Court didn’t rule in his favor. 

Some might say he tried to extort money out of his last employer through the lawsuit. But the Court didn’t rule in his favor as they didn’t find any factual basis in his claims. 

In the following review, I have explained how Bryan Rhode allegedly tried to extort his last employer: 

Who is Bryan Rhode?

Bryan Rhode is an ex-Marine and an entrepreneur. Prior to founding ACUMEN Apparel, he used to work at CSX Transportation Inc. 

Before that, he worked as Secretary of Public Safety in the Governor’s office in Virginia. Bryan has a BA in International Politics from Penn State University. 

Also, he has a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law and an MSc in Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

Certainly, he has a lot of professional experience but he was making headlines for the wrong reasons. 

A few years ago, he sued his employer after allegedly resigning from his position and claiming that he deserved a severance package. I have shared more details on Bryan’s lawsuit in the next section of this review: 

About ACUMEN Apparel:

Bryan Rhode is the founder of ACUMEN Apparel. The company claims to create clothing solutions for men. 

Also, the company claims to offer the patent pending ACUMEN Set, which consists of a dress shirt, a shirt stay and socks. 

The company focuses on selling shirts that “stay tucked”. 

On paper, the company looks attractive and certainly a possible success. However, the shady history of its founder puts a few dark clouds over the company’s future. 

Before launching ACUMEN Apparel, Bryan Rhode used to work at CSX as Vice President, Public Safety, Health & Environment. 

He held that post for 2 years. Prior to that, he handled various roles in the company for around 5 years. 

Certainly, he must have developed a significant rapport with the company. But maybe, Bryan didn’t care. 

He resigned from his post of Vice President and left CSX. 

Then, he sued his ex-employer claiming that the company didn’t give him a severance package. 

In 2020, Bryan Rhode filed a Labor – Employee benefit lawsuit against CSX Transportation, Inc. He filed the case in US District Courts, Florida Middle District. 

His severance suit didn’t go anywhere as a federal magistrate judge said the company had a reasonable basis for concluding he forfeited severance by resigning voluntarily. 

Then, he raised objections against the ruling of the federal magistrate judge but the court overruled them all. 

More Details on the Lawsuit

Bryan Rhode of ACUMEN Apparel had raised several objections against the magistrate judge. He alleged that the judge didn’t analyze whether the plan administrator applied the correct legal standard when determining he had resigned.

The court said the objection was unavailing. That’s because Bryan Rhode didn’t cite any authority for the proposition that there is a particular legal standard for resignation. 

Then, he objected to the judge’s recommendation that the Court find the administrator conducted a full and fair review. 

In response, the Court said the objection is unpersuasive. 

Finally, in his third objection Rhode challenged the magistrate judge’s analysis of the company’s conflict of interest. The Court overruled the third objection after seeing the administrative records and other documentation. 

Clearly, Bryan Rhode resigned from the company for some reasons but wanted more money. So, he filed a severance lawsuit claiming he didn’t resign and deserved compensation. 

It’s suspicious and makes him seem like an extremely greedy person. 

After all, why would a VP file a labor lawsuit after resigning from the position himself? 

Conclusion

The Court found that Bryan Rhode had resigned from his position. Like you must already know, companies don’t offer severance packages to employees who resign from their positions voluntarily. 

However, he sued his employer anyway but didn’t get anywhere. Maybe he was hoping to make a few extra thousands? Only he knows. 

Now, he has launched a new company. But seeing his history of unethical conduct, I don’t recommend working with him. He might be experienced but he seems quite selfish and greedy. 

1.8 Total Score
Unreliable

Bryan Rhode sued his last employer for no reason other than, what seems like, greed. Certainly, he is not as ethical as he wants to look. Be wary of him and his latest venture, ACUMEN Apparel.

2.6Expert Score
Trust
2
Experience
3
Professionalism
2.5
Ethics
3
1User's score
Trust
1
Experience
1
Professionalism
1
Ethics
1
PROS
  • Highly experienced
CONS
  • Greedy
  • Unprofessional
  • Lacks ethics
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2 Comments
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  1. 0.5
    Trust
    10
    Experience
    10
    Professionalism
    10
    Ethics
    10

    The man is definitely not what he markets himself to be. I don’t trust Bryan Rhode and I don’t think anyone else should either.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  2. Bryan Rhode seems like a textbook case of extortion. I’m glad he didn’t win the lawsuit otherwise you would have everyone suing their last employer saying “I deserve a severance” even when they don’t. What’s sad, though, is he didn’t face any consequences for his actions. One might say that his move to sue CSX like that brought a lot of negative attention to the company. For sure, it wouldn’t have helped the company to go into a legal battle on such a trivial matter. I don’t like people like Bryan. Because of people like him, companies make stricter policies regarding resignations, making things difficult for everyone.

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