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Federal Housing Employee Secretly Recorded Director’s Sexual Advances Toward Her

An employee at the Federal Housing Finance Agency secretly recorded conversations with regulator of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Melvin Watt.

The employee has accused Watt of sexual harassment, retaliation and pay discrimination, claiming he leveraged his ability to advance her career as he discussed his attraction to her, reports The Hill.

“I’m guilty of having an attraction to you, that is true, so it makes me more conscious not to leave some impression,” Watt said on the recording obtained by NPR.

Simone Grimes began recording her conversations with Watt in 2016. And in November 2016, he insisted she meet him at his house where she secretly record him saying he could help her advance her career.

“I have continued to endure this position and try to see it through to the end and be clear with the agency that they are not knocking the wind out of me, I am not losing my stride,” Grimes stated.

If you have been sexually harassed, discriminated or retaliated in the workplace, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.

Nike Hit With Discrimination Lawsuit From Former Female Employees

Four women who worked in the corporate headquarters at Nike filed a class-action lawsuit at a federal court in Oregon last week, alleging the company discriminated against them in pay and career advancement.

As mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, the women report that Nike paid them less than male counterparts at the company. The lawsuit also contained other allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior, some of them from unnamed plaintiffs.

According to the lawsuit, Nike “has intentionally and willfully discriminated” against women “with respect to pay, promotions, and conditions of employment.” It seeks that the plaintiffs “are made whole” from lost compensation and benefits, among other damages.

Eleven executives have left the company amid complaints about inappropriate workplace behavior. Nike’s top human-resources executive said the company has failed to promote enough women and minorities. Last month, Nike announced it would give raises to some 7,000 staffers after an internal review of its compensation practices, reports the Wall Street Journal.

If you think your rights have been violated, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a consultation with an experienced employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.

 

Former FEMA Chief Created a ‘Toxic’ Environment of Sexual Harassment

The personnel chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is under investigation after being accused of “creating an atmosphere of widespread sexual harassment over years in which women were hired as possible sexual partners for male employees”, the agency’s leader reported.

As mentioned in the Washington Post, the alleged harassment and other misconduct, revealed through a preliminary seven-month internal investigation, was a “systemic problem going on for years,” said FEMA Administrator William “Brock” Long.

Starting in 2015, investigators said, Coleman hired unqualified men who were friends and college fraternity brothers and women he met at bars and on online dating sites. Then transferred some of the women in and out of departments, some to regional offices, so his friends could try to have sexual relationships with them, according to employees, reports the Washington Post.

Long also mentioned he received a direct complaint last year from an employee who said Coleman sexually harassed her. Coleman resigned from his position a few weeks ago.

If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.

CBS CEO Leslie Moonves Accused of Sexual Misconduct

The chairman and C.E.O. of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves has been one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. As mentioned in The New Yorker, Moonves has become a prominent voice in Hollywood’s #MeToo movement.

However, The New Yorker interviewed six women who had professional dealings with him and stated that he sexually harassed them. Four described “forcible touching or kissing during business meetings”, in what they said appeared to be a practiced routine. Two told Ronan Farrow from The New Yorker that Moonves “physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers”, and they all said that he became cold or hostile after they rejected his advances, and that they believed their careers suffered as a result.

“What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating,” the actress and writer Illeana Douglas told Farrow. All the women said they still feared that speaking out would lead to retaliation from Moonves, who is known in the industry for his ability to make or break careers.

In addition, nineteen current and former employees stated that Jeff Fager, the former chairman of CBS News and the current executive producer of “60 Minutes,” allowed harassment in the division. “It’s top down, this culture of older men who have all this power and you are nothing,” one veteran producer told Farrow.

If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.

 

In-N-Out Employees Had a Right to Wear ‘Fight for $15’ Buttons

In-N-Out Burger violated federal labor law when it told employees in Austin, Texas they were forbidden to wear “Fight for $15″ buttons on their uniforms.

As mentioned in Bloomberg Law, the fast-food chain didn’t show the “special circumstances” necessary to allow it to avoid federal labor law’s general requirement that employees must be permitted to wear union insignia at work, a federal appeals court said.

In-N-Out insisted its “no pins or stickers” rule was in place to protect the “public image” it sought to create by consistently presenting its workers in clean white uniforms “unadorned” by any personal additions. However, the evidence supported the National Labor Relations Board’s finding that the company’s longtime adherence to that rule alone didn’t establish special circumstances excusing it from the board’s general prohibition against blanket rules banning union insignia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit said.

In addition, In-N-Out’s practice of requiring servers to wear company-supplied buttons on their uniforms during the Christmas season and during April to support the chain’s nonprofit foundation for the prevention of child abuse further undercut its argument”, Judge James E. Graves Jr. stated. “Those buttons are roughly three times the size of the pro-$15-minimum-wage buttons workers in Austin were told they couldn’t wear”, Graves added.

If you think your rights have been violated, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a consultation with an experienced employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.

 

Kevin Spacey New Sexual Assault Allegations

Scotland Yard is investigating three new sexual assault allegations against Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey. According to The Guardian, Scotland Yard now has six open investigations into claims that the actor attacked men in the UK.

The latest allegations are said to have taken place in Westminster in 1996, Lambeth in 2008 and in Gloucester in 2013. And three other complaints of sexual assault in London had already been made to officers, as well as a claim of sexual assault in Los Angeles.

Spacey’s downfall started when actor Anthony Rapp alleged he was 14 when Spacey, then 26, made a sexual advance to him in 1986. Spacey said he did not remember the encounter but apologized for any “inappropriate drunken behavior”.

As mentioned in The Guardian, “the Old Vic theater found 20 people claimed they had been subjected to inappropriate behavior from the actor. On Tuesday, fellow actor Guy Pearce suggested Spacey had groped him on the set of LA Confidential, the 1997 film they had both appeared in.”

If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.

More Than Half of Companies Reviewed Their Sexual Harassment Policies in Wake of #MeToo

The #MeTo and #TimesUp movements began in October 2017 in response to the shocking allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood film producer, Harvey Weinstein.

As mentioned in the Market Watch, “the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements led to a spike in the amount of reported sexual harassment across the country, specifically in office settings.”

As the #MeToo movement continues, more companies are reviewing their sexual harassment policies and taking action to prevent it. According to a survey conducted by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc, a career consulting company, more than half of companies (52%) have reviewed their sexual harassment policies, up from 34% in January.

“Companies are responding to the cultural movement and recognizing that most of this abuse occurred in the workplace,” stated Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “Calls to make the office a safer place and free from any kind of abuse were overwhelming, and seeing companies respond is heartening.”

“It is not surprising that companies are seeing more people come forward in the wake of #MeToo, as workers feel supported and empowered to do so,” Challenger added. “Likewise, it makes sense that there would be some caution when it comes to interactions at work in order to keep from crossing any lines.”

If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.

Former Lowe’s Employee Sues the Company for Failing to Act on Groping Incident

A former employee of the Lowe’s Home Improvement is suing the store in Sioux Falls for failing to take action after a co-worker allegedly grabbed her buttocks.

Vickie Mader states that on May 1, 2017, she was assisting customers with ceiling fans when employee Ronald Heidzig reached down and grabbed her from behind as he walked passed her, as mentioned in Daily News.

Mader was angered and humiliated by the harassment, and reported it to an assistant manager the following day. According to Daily News “the manager reviewed video footage of the incident, which showed Heidzig’s hand in a “claw like” position, according to the lawsuit.”

No action was taken for nearly four weeks — a period throughout which the plaintiff was “constantly looking over her shoulder and felt creeped out,” according to the complaint. Mader decided to resign on May 26, seeing no other alternative to avoid working with Heidzig.

The plaintiff is accusing Lowe’s of discrimination, infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.

If you think your rights have been violated, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a consultation with an experienced employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.

Comedian Andy Dick Charged With Sexual Battery

Comedian Andy Dick has been charged with groping a woman on a Los Angeles street in April.

The Los Angeles city attorney filed misdemeanor sexual battery and misdemeanor simple battery charges against the actor and is seeking an arrest warrant for him.

According to legal documents, the comedian “did willfully and unlawfully touch an intimate part of another … against his or her will for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, and sexual abuse.”

As mentioned in Los Angeles Times, the second charge said the comedian “did willfully and unlawfully use force and violence upon the person.”

In October, Dick was fired from a film after he was accused of groping, non-consensually kissing and licking co-workers. Additionally, he was accused of sexually propositioning at least four members of the production, the Huffington Post reports.

If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.

Former Mt. Pleasant Area School Coach Was Regularly Harassed About His Physical Disability

Former basketball coach, Don Porter filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit against the Mt. Pleasant Area School District claiming he was wrongfully terminated because he made numerous complaints about being verbally harassed by a veteran school director.

In the lawsuit, Porter states he reported to school officials that he was constantly harassed about his injury claim by longtime school board member Warren Leeder. As mentioned in LiveTribe, Porter was the boys basketball coach from September 8, 2014, until March 12 when he was fired by the board.

On Jan. 8, 2018 Porter slipped on ice in the school parking lot and mentioned the incident to athletic director Allan Bilinsky “to let the custodians know that salt could be placed on the school walkways.” After the incident, Porter filed a worker’s compensation claim that was approved by the school district, but Leeder also began repeatedly harassing him.

Porter wears a leg brace because he suffers from diabetic nerve damage in his legs, and alleges that the firing was also due to his physical disability and violates the federal Rehabilitation Act.

“(The school district’s) unlawful employment practices caused Porter to suffer damages including but not limited to lost income, benefits, emotional distress, mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, harm to his reputation and inconvenience,” the lawsuit states.

If you’ve been wrongfully terminated from your job in retaliation for exercising a legal workplace right, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.

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