Form: 8-K

Current report filing

November 27, 2023

Exhibit 10.1



11555 Sorrento Valley Road

Suite 203

San Diego, CA 92121

Phone 619-941-0360


November 7, 2023


Charles J. Fisher, Jr. M.D.


Re:Separation Agreement


Dear Chuck:


This letter sets forth the substance of the separation agreement (the “Agreement”) that Aethlon Medical, Inc. (the “Company”) is offering to you to aid in your employment transition.


1. Separation. Your employment termination date will be November 7, 2023 (the “Separation Date”). By your execution of this Agreement, you hereby resign from the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) and confirm that you hold no other positions with or on behalf of the Company. The preceding sentence is not contingent or conditioned on the occurrence of any other events, and is effective regardless of whether this Agreement becomes effective in accordance with Section 10(e) below.


2. Final Pay. On the Separation Date, the Company will pay you all accrued wages, and all accrued and unused vacation earned through the Separation Date, subject to standard payroll deductions and withholdings. You are entitled to these payments regardless of whether or not you sign this Agreement.


3. Severance Benefits. If you: (i) sign and return this Agreement to the Company on or within twenty-one (21) calendar days after the Separation Date; (ii) allow the releases contained herein to become effective; and (iii) comply with all of your legal and contractual obligations to the Company, then in full satisfaction of that certain Executive Employment Agreement effective October 30, 2020 by and between you and the Company (the “Employment Agreement”), the Company will provide you with the following severance benefits (the “Severance Benefits”):


(a) Cash Severance. The Company will pay you, as severance, an amount equivalent to twelve (12) months of your current base salary or base rate of pay, as applicable (in the total gross amount of $460,000), subject to standard payroll deductions and withholdings (the “Severance Payment”). The Severance Payment will be paid to you in a continuation on the Company’s regular payroll starting on the first regularly scheduled payroll date after the Effective Date (as defined below).


(b) Equity Acceleration. You were granted one or more options to purchase shares of the Company’s common stock, pursuant to the Company’s 2020 Equity Incentive Plan (as amended, the “Plan”). Under the terms of the Plan and your stock option grants, vesting will cease as of the Separation Date. Your options shall continue to be governed by the terms of the applicable grant notices, stock option agreements and the Plan. Notwithstanding the foregoing, as an additional Severance Benefit provided to you under this Agreement, fifty percent (50%) of your outstanding stock options and other outstanding equity awards that are subject to time-based vesting requirements that are unvested as of the Separation Date shall accelerate and be deemed fully vested.







(c) Health Insurance. To the extent provided by the federal COBRA law or, if applicable, state insurance laws (collectively, “COBRA”), and by the Company’s current group health insurance policies, you will be eligible to continue your group health insurance benefits at your own expense. Later, you may be able to convert to an individual policy through the provider of the Company’s health insurance, if you wish. As an additional severance benefit provided to you under this Agreement, if you timely elect continued coverage under COBRA, the Company will pay for the COBRA premiums to continue your health insurance coverage (including coverage for eligible dependents, if applicable) (“COBRA Premiums”) through the period (the “COBRA Premium Period”) starting on the Separation Date and ending on the earliest to occur of: (i) twelve (12) months following the Separation Date; (ii) the date you become eligible for group health insurance coverage through a new employer; or (iii) the date you cease to be eligible for COBRA continuation coverage for any reason. You must timely pay your premiums, and then provide the Company with proof of same to obtain reimbursement for your COBRA premiums under this section. In the event you become covered under another employer’s group health plan or otherwise cease to be eligible for COBRA during the COBRA Premium Period, you must immediately notify the Company of such event. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Company determines, in its sole discretion, that it cannot pay the COBRA Premiums without a substantial risk of violating applicable law (including, without limitation, Section 2716 of the Public Health Service Act), the Company instead shall pay you, on the first day of each calendar month, a fully taxable cash payment equal to the applicable COBRA premiums for that month for the remainder of the COBRA Premium Period, which you may (but are not obligated to) use toward the cost of COBRA premiums.


4. No Other Compensation or Benefits. You acknowledge that, except as expressly provided in this Agreement, you have not earned and will not receive from the Company any additional compensation (including base salary, bonus, incentive compensation, equity, equity acceleration, or vesting), severance, or benefits before or after the Separation Date, with the exception of any vested right you may have under the express terms of a written ERISA-qualified benefit plan (e.g., 401(k) account). You further acknowledge and agree that any obligation by Company with respect to the provision of notice under Section 8.1 of the Employment Agreement is hereby deemed void, superseded, and of no further force or effect.


5. Expense Reimbursements. You agree that, within thirty (30) calendar days after the Separation Date, you will submit your final documented expense reimbursement statement reflecting all business expenses you incurred through the Separation Date, if any, for which you seek reimbursement. The Company will reimburse you for these expenses pursuant to its regular business practice.


6. Return of Company Property. On or within ten (10) calendar days after the Separation Date, you will return to the Company all Company documents (and all copies thereof) and other Company property in your possession or control, including, but not limited to, Company files, notes, drawings, records, business plans and forecasts, contact information, financial information, specifications, training materials, computer-recorded information, tangible property including, but not limited to, computers, credit cards, entry cards, identification badges and keys; and any materials of any kind that contain or embody any proprietary or confidential information of the Company (and all reproductions thereof). You represent that you have made a diligent search to locate any such documents, property and information within the required timeframe. In addition, if you have used any personally owned computer, server, e-mail system, mobile phone, portable electronic device (e.g., smartphone, iPad or the like), (collectively, “Personal Systems”) to receive, store, prepare or transmit any Company confidential or proprietary data, materials or information, then within five (5) calendar days after the Separation Date, you will permanently delete and expunge all such Company confidential or proprietary information from such Personal Systems without retaining any copy or reproduction in any form (in whole or in part). You agree that, after the applicable timeframes noted above, you will neither use nor possess Company property. You also agree that within five (5) calendar days after the Separation Date you will update any social media and networking profiles (such as LinkedIn and Facebook) to reflect that you are no longer employed or affiliated with the Company. Your timely compliance with this paragraph is a condition precedent to your receipt of the Severance Benefits described above.


7. No Admissions. You understand and agree that the promises and payments in consideration of this Agreement shall not be construed to be an admission of any liability or obligation by the Company to you or to any other person, and that the Company makes no such admission.







8. Release of Claims.


(a) General Release. In exchange for the consideration provided to you under this Agreement to which you would not otherwise be entitled, you hereby generally and completely release the Company, and its affiliated, related, parent and subsidiary entities, and its and their current and former directors, officers, employees, shareholders, partners, agents, attorneys, predecessors, successors, insurers, affiliates, and assigns (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from any and all claims, liabilities and obligations, both known and unknown, that arise out of or are in any way related to events, acts, conduct, or omissions occurring prior to or on the date you sign this Agreement (collectively, the “Released Claims”).


(b) Scope of Release. The Released Claims include, but are not limited to: (i) all claims arising out of or in any way related to your employment with the Company, or the termination of that employment; (ii) all claims related to your compensation or benefits from the Company, including salary, bonuses, commissions, vacation, expense reimbursements, severance pay, fringe benefits, stock, stock options, or any other ownership, equity, or profits interests in the Company; (iii) all claims for breach of contract, wrongful termination, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (iv) all tort claims, including claims for fraud, defamation, emotional distress, and discharge in violation of public policy; and (v) all federal, state, and local statutory claims, including claims for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, attorneys’ fees, or other claims arising under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended), the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (as amended) (the “ADEA”), the California Labor Code (as amended), and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (as amended). You acknowledge that you have been advised, as required by California Government Code Section 12964.5(b)(4), that you have the right to consult an attorney regarding this Agreement and that you were given a reasonable time period of not less than five (5) business days in which to do so. You further acknowledge and agree that, in the event you sign this Agreement prior to the end of the reasonable time period provided by the Company, your decision to accept such shortening of time is knowing and voluntary and is not induced by the Company through fraud, misrepresentation, or a threat to withdraw or alter the offer prior to the expiration of the reasonable time period, or by providing different terms to employees who sign such an agreement prior to the expiration of the time period.


(c) Excluded Claims. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following are not included in the Released Claims (the “Excluded Claims”): (i) any rights or claims for indemnification you may have pursuant to any written indemnification agreement with the Company to which you are a party or under applicable law; (ii) any rights which are not waivable as a matter of law (such as claims for unemployment benefits or workers compensation); and (iii) any claims for breach of this Agreement.


(d) Protected Rights. You understand that nothing in this Agreement limits your ability to file a charge or complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the California Civil Rights Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission or any other federal, state or local governmental agency or commission (“Government Agencies”). You further understand this Agreement does not limit your ability to communicate with any Government Agencies or otherwise participate in any investigation or proceeding that may be conducted by any Government Agency, including providing documents or other information, without notice to the Company. While this Agreement does not limit your right to receive an award for information provided to the Securities and Exchange Commission, you understand and agree that, to the maximum extent permitted by law, you are otherwise waiving any and all rights you may have to individual relief based on any claims that you have released and any rights you have waived by signing this Agreement. Nothing in this Agreement (i) prevents you from discussing or disclosing information about unlawful acts in the workplace, such as harassment or discrimination or any other conduct that you have reason to believe is unlawful; or (ii) waives any rights you may have under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, if applicable (subject to the release of claims set forth herein).


(e) ADEA Waiver. You acknowledge that you are knowingly and voluntarily waiving and releasing any rights you may have under the ADEA, and that the consideration given for the waiver and release in this section is in addition to anything of value to which you are already entitled. You further acknowledge that you have been advised, as required by the ADEA, that: (i) your waiver and release do not apply to any rights or claims that may arise after the date that you sign this Agreement; (ii) you should consult with an attorney prior to signing this Agreement (although you may choose voluntarily not to do so); (iii) you have twenty-one (21) calendar days to consider this Agreement (although you may choose voluntarily to sign it earlier), and you agree that changes to this Agreement, whether material or immaterial, do not restart the running of the twenty-one (21) calendar day period; (iv) you have seven (7) calendar days following the date you sign this Agreement to revoke it (by providing written notice of your revocation to me); and (v) this Agreement will not be effective until the date upon which the revocation period has expired, which will be the eighth calendar day after the date that this Agreement is signed by you provided that you do not revoke it (the “Effective Date”).







9. Section 1542 Waiver. In giving the release herein, which includes claims which may be unknown to you at present, you acknowledge that you have read and understand Section 1542 of the California Civil Code, which reads as follows:


“A general release does not extend to claims that the creditor or releasing party does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release and that, if known by him or her, would have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor or released party.”


You hereby expressly waive and relinquish all rights and benefits under that section and any law of any other jurisdiction of similar effect with respect to your release of claims herein, including but not limited to your release of unknown claims.


10. Representations. You hereby represent that you have been paid all compensation owed and for all hours worked, have received all the leave and leave benefits and protections for which you are eligible pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act, the California Family Rights Act, or otherwise, and have not suffered any on-the-job injury for which you have not already filed a workers’ compensation claim.


11. Continuing Obligations. You acknowledge and reaffirm your continuing obligations under your Employee Confidential Information and Invention Assignment Agreement, attached hereto as Exhibit A, which is incorporated herein by reference, and agree to abide by those continuing obligations.


12. Non-Disparagement. Except to the extent permitted by the “Protected Rights” section above, you agree not to disparage the Company, its officers, directors, employees, shareholders, parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, and agents, in any manner likely to be harmful to its or their business, business reputation, or personal reputation; provided that you may respond accurately and fully to any request for information if required by legal process or in connection with a government investigation. In addition, nothing in this provision or this Agreement prohibits or restrains you from making disclosures protected under the whistleblower provisions of federal or state law or from exercising your rights to engage in protected speech under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, if applicable. In response to any reference request from a prospective employer, the Company will only confirm your dates of employment and positions held.


13. No Voluntary Adverse Action. You agree that you will not voluntarily (except in response to legal compulsion or as permitted under the section of this Agreement entitled “Protected Rights”) assist any person in bringing or pursuing any proposed or pending litigation, arbitration, administrative claim or other formal proceeding against the Company, its parent or subsidiary entities, affiliates, officers, directors, employees or agents.


14. Cooperation. You agree to cooperate fully with the Company in connection with its actual or contemplated defense, prosecution, or investigation of any claims or demands by or against third parties, or other matters arising from events, acts, or failures to act that occurred during the period of your employment by the Company. Such cooperation includes, without limitation, making yourself available to the Company upon reasonable notice, without subpoena, to provide complete, truthful and accurate information in witness interviews, depositions, and trial testimony. The Company will reimburse you for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses you incur in connection with any such cooperation (excluding foregone wages) and will make reasonable efforts to accommodate your scheduling needs.


15. Miscellaneous. This Agreement, including Exhibit A, constitutes the complete, final and exclusive embodiment of the entire agreement between you and the Company with regard to its subject matter. It is entered into without reliance on any promise or representation, written or oral, other than those expressly contained herein, and it supersedes any other such promises, warranties or representations. This Agreement may not be modified or amended except in a writing signed by both you and a duly authorized officer of the Company. This Agreement will bind the heirs, personal representatives, successors and assigns of both you and the Company, and inure to the benefit of both you and the Company, their heirs, successors and assigns. The Company may freely assign this Agreement, without your prior written consent. You may not assign any of your duties hereunder and you may not assign any of your rights hereunder without the written consent of the Company. If any provision of this Agreement is determined to be invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, this determination will not affect any other provision of this Agreement and the provision in question will be modified so as to be rendered enforceable. This Agreement will be deemed to have been entered into and will be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California without regard to conflict of laws principles. Any ambiguity in this Agreement shall not be construed against either party as the drafter. Any waiver of a breach of this Agreement shall be in writing and shall not be deemed to be a waiver of any successive breach. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts which shall be deemed to be part of one original, and facsimile and electronic image signatures (including .pdf or any electronic signature complying with the U.S. federal ESIGN Act of 2000, Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, or other applicable law) shall be equivalent to original signatures.


[Signature Page to Follow]







If this Agreement is acceptable to you, please sign below and return the original to me. You have twenty-one (21) calendar days to decide whether you would like to accept this Agreement, and the Company’s offer contained herein will automatically expire if you do not sign and return it within this timeframe.


We wish you the best in your future endeavors.




Aethlon Medical, Inc.


By: /s/ Edward Broenniman                             

Edward G. Broenniman

Chairman of the Board



Exhibit A – Employee Confidential Information and Invention Assignment Agreement



I have read, understand and agree fully to the foregoing Agreement:


     /s/ Charles J. Fisher, Jr. M.D.  
Charles J. Fisher, Jr. M.D.  
     19 Nov 2023  
















Exhibit A


Employee Confidential Information and Invention Assignment Agreement