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Barrett Group Claims Board Breached Duty

January 17 2012

A group of shareholders at staffing provider Barrett Business Services Inc. (NASD: BBSI) says the board ignored requests to schedule a special meeting Feb. 21 to allow shareholders to vote for a new board, according to a filing on Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. One member of the shareholder group is Kimberly Jacobson Sherertz, the widow of the company’s former chairman and CEO William Sherertz. The group’s attorney says the staffing firm’s board is in breach of its fiduciary duty.

“The failure of BBSI’s directors to cause BBSI to reasonably respond to the requests of Ms. Sherertz is a patent breach of fiduciary duty owed to Ms. Sherertz by the BBSI directors for which they shall be held accountable,” according to a comment from the attorney included in an SEC filing.

The shareholder group previously announced a proposed slate of new directors for the staffing firm.

Sherertz owns approximately 26 percent of Barrett stock. Friday’s SEC filing says a key objective of the group is to alter the staffing company’s change in control agreements. It claims the agreements are not in line with industry best practices and could damage shareholder value.

Barrett provides commercial staffing and professional employer organization (PEO) services. It is based in Vancouver, Wash.

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