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DOJ Sues Baltimore County Police Department for Discrimination

The Department of Justice has filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD) for racially discriminating against African American applicants. According to the lawsuit, BCPD has been violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 since January of 2013 by making employment decisions based on hiring examination results that were unrelated to entry-level police officer and cadet positions. These examinations “disproportionately excluded African American applicants,” according to the suit.

The examination that was given to applicants was failed by African American applicants at a greater rate than white applicants, which led to less African American individuals being hired as police officers. The exams tested reading, logic, grammar, and other skills that the suit states are not relevant to the job of a police officer or police cadet.

The lawsuit asks the court to order Baltimore County to stop using the examination, to give relief to those who have already suffered discrimination, and to adopt new measures to correct the racial discrimination. In Baltimore County, the number of African American applicants has increased, however, this has not translated to more minority officers being hired by the police department.

If you feel that you have been discriminated against because of your race and would like to know your rights as an employee in the state of California, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.

Former JF Electric Employee Files Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

Jack Holshouser, a former employee of JF Electric of Edwardsville, is suing the company for wrongfully terminating him after he allegedly suffered injuries while on the job in January of 2016. According to Holshouser’s lawsuit, he was wrongfully terminated after he filed a workers’ compensation claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission after he suffered an injury to his left leg and ankle.

In December of 2016, Holshouser was released from the hospital, and he was told he would be able to return to work with medical restrictions. Holshouser did not return to work until February 2017 with a doctor’s release. The lawsuit states that Holshouser was terminated in March of 2018 in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, which violates his rights under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Holshouser states in his lawsuit that he is seeking lost wages and benefits prior to his termination, and that he has suffered emotional harm and a loss to his reputation. He is seeking over $50,000 along with proper relief.

If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated due to retaliation and would like to know your rights as an employee in the state of California, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.

Ex-Tinder Executive Sues for Sexual Harassment and Wrongful Termination

Rosette Pambakian, Tinder’s former vice president of marketing and communication, is suing the company for sexual harassment and wrongful termination after she reported being sexually assaulted by the company’s former CEO. Pambakian said in her lawsuit that the former CEO, Gregory Blatt, was well known for having a short fuse and being a bully in the office.

Allegedly, on December 9, 2016 during a holiday party at the company, Blatt told Pambakian he gets aroused whenever he looks at her, and then proceeded to try to convince her to leave with him. Pambakian declined the offer and instead went to a hotel room that was rented by the company where she told Blatt’s executive assistant to not tell Blatt she was there. Blatt knocked on the door, came inside, and started allegedly groping her breasts and thighs while trying to kiss her. Other Tinder employees were also in the room when Pambakian was being sexually harassed.

Despite Blatt apologizing for his actions, Pambakian reported the behavior, and Tinder allegedly did not investigate her claims. According to her lawsuit, the company tried to “buy her silence” and get her to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The suit also claims that Pambakian was sexually harassed, and then she was accused of consenting to Blatt’s actions since executives allegedly covered for Blatt since he was handling the process of valuing Tinder. The combination of the report Pambakian filed against Blatt, and the executives covering for him, Pambakian was retaliated against and wrongfully terminated.

If you feel that you have been sexually harassed or wrongfully terminated due to retaliation and you would like to know your rights as an employee in the state of California, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.

Female Engineer Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Uber

A former software engineer for Uber, Yingnan Li, has filed a lawsuit against Uber after the company allegedly terminated her in retaliation of her reporting sexual harassment and that they discriminated against her because of her gender. Li began working for the company in June of 2017 as the only female engineer in her department. She states in her lawsuit that her male co-workers would look at her body “suggestively,” and that they brushed up against her on multiple occasions claiming it was an accident.

Li has accused one Uber engineering manager of shouting at her and cutting her off during company meetings, as well as removing her from group meetings and assigning her secretarial tasks he would not assign to her male colleagues. Li also claims in her lawsuit that she was denied bonuses despite positive work performance reports.

Li complained to human resources in October, after which she said the company terminated a possible promotion for her. A month after she complained, she was put on a “performance improvement plan.” Uber terminated Li in March of the following year, which she alleges is in retaliation against the complaint she made back in October.

The sexual harassment and gender discrimination lawsuit states that Li was subject to sexual harassment, she was denied equal pay along with a promotion, and she was wrongfully terminated in retaliation of her filing a complaint with human resources. Li is also a Chinese immigrant, therefore her termination puts her at risk of being removed from the United States. Li’s lawsuit states that she has suffered emotional distress, and she is seeking compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, and equitable relief, and that she is trying to obtain a jury trial.

If you feel that you have been sexually harassed, wrongfully terminated due to retaliation, or you have been discriminated against because of your gender and would like to know your rights as an employee in the state of California, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.

Former Schwab Relationship Manager Sues for Age Discrimination

Monica Knowles, former senior relationship manager of Schwab, is suing Charles Schwab for alleged age discrimination after she was disciplined and then terminated for violating an email communications policy she claims younger employees did not receive discipline for.

Knowles, who is 63, began her position as senior relationship manager at Schwab in 2014. In her age discrimination lawsuit, she states she is the oldest person who is employed under her managing direct, who acted as her direct supervisor. In the summer of 2016, clients reportedly asked Knowles via email about the enforcement of a SEC statute. In November of the same year, Schwab gave employees, including Knowles, talking points for when their clients had inquiries about the topic of the statute.

After being given talking points, Knowles proceeded to paraphrase the points in an email to one of her clients. The client took Knowles’ answer and posted it onto a blog, which prompted the interest of an unnamed journalist. The journalist reached out to Schwab to see if the email was accurate representation of Schwab’s position on the SEC statute enforcement, according to the lawsuit.

Schwab gave Knowles a written warning in January of 2017 due to email violations not only due to the incident, but also because she had sent company emails to her own personal email address. According to Knowles’ age discrimination lawsuit, “Younger employees who engaged in the same or similar behavior were not disciplined.” Only a few months later in June of 2017, Knowles’ managing director started to discuss the idea of terminating her employment with Knowles herself. Shortly after the discussion, one of Knowles’ clients filed a complaint with Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger, which led to yet another written warning being given to Knowles claiming that she did not have control over her client.

In August of 2017, Knowles’ managing director informed her that he wanted her to leave the company by early September, which led to her being wrongfully terminated by the company in September of 2017. In Knowles’ lawsuit, she alleges that she was replaced with an employee who was under the age of 40, leading her to believe her termination was at least partially age discrimination-based.

If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated or that you have been discriminated against because of your age and would like to know your rights as an employee in the state of California, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.

Former Legal Secretary Sues Firm for Allowing Sexual Harassment

Jessica Correa, the former legal secretary of Troutman Sanders LLP has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Troutman Sanders’ firm as well as Sanders’ ex-partner, Gerald Francese, after she reportedly endured sexual harassment and misconduct by Francese for over a year. Correa believes she was wrongfully terminated as retaliation for reporting Francese to Human Resources.

Correa was assigned to assist Francese shortly after she started working for Troutman in January of 2017. Allegedly, Francese started calling her “cutie,” and started to stare at her breasts on a regular basis after only a month of working for the law firm.

The sexual harassment reportedly increased rapidly, including unwanted kisses, forced dinner dates, and inquiries about Correa’s sexual practices. Francese later offered to become her “sugar daddy” after she confided in him that she was having financial problems. Correa found out in April of 2018 that she was denied an annual raise. She believes the reason for her lack of a raise was due to Francese making false complaints about her work performance to human resources after she continuously expressed her discomfort with his sexual advances.

In Correa’s lawsuit, she states that the continuously stressful situations with Francese caused her “anxiety” as well as “psychological stress.” She reported the sexual harassment to human resources in April of 2018. On August 20, 2018, Correa was “constructively discharged,” which she believes was done as retaliation against her reporting Francese.

If you feel that you have been sexually harassed or wrongfully terminated due to retaliation and you would like to know your rights as an employee in the state of California, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.

Former Employees of Bank of Commerce Sue for Wrongful Termination and Harassment

Donald Sing, Jeremy Montgomery, and Brian Davis are suing Bank of Commerce for wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and age discrimination. In August of 2017, Vice President Consumer Lender, Montgomery, had requested to speak with the President of the Bank of Commerce, Sing, about a female employee who reported sexual harassment and a sexually hostile working environment because of the vice chairman, J. Vaughn. Sing reported the complaints to Joe Morris, the chairman and CEO, as well as Senior Vice President of Human Resources Cindy Reynolds.

A couple of weeks after the first report, a second employee reported the same sexual harassment and sexually hostile working environment to Montgomery. Sing again reported the complaints to Morris and Reynolds. Multiple complaints of sexual harassment were reported after these incidences, except some of the allegations were against the Market President for Grady and Caddo counties, David Ferrell. Morris became upset with Montgomery for reporting the complaints to Sing instead of himself.

The sexual harassment allegations were investigated, and Vaughn retired from the bank. In February of 2018, there was talk of Vaughn returning to the bank, which caused Sing to become concerned about the two victims and their safety in the work environment. The first victim was given an annual performance evaluation by Morris, which led to her being “reassigned and demoted” to a different position in a separate building in retaliation of her discomfort around Vaughn. The second victim was given the option to have temporary accommodations by Morris, but was advised to leave the bank if she “could not deal with Vaughn’s presence.”

Davis was wrongfully terminated in late May 2018, followed by Sing who was demoted and terminated in November 2018 after being told to resign, reportedly because of his age. Allegedly, Morris wanted a younger person in the position of president. Montgomery was also wrongfully terminated because of an alleged “reduction in force.” The lawsuit for each one of the employees is calling for punitive damages, compensation for lost wages, interest, and cost and fees.

If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated due to retaliation or that you have been discriminated against because of your age and would like to know your rights as an employee in the state of California, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.

Former Founding Investors of Track 7 Brewing Company Sue Owner and Wife

Geoff and Rebecca Scott started Track 7 Brewing Company in 2010 with Ryan Graham and his wife. Since the company’s growth, Graham’s alleged inappropriate behaviors have become rampant in the workplace. The Scotts filed a lawsuit in February against Graham, his wife, and founding investors for wrongful termination. In the lawsuit, there are also allegations of Graham making sexual comments toward employees of the company, one of which may have led to a confidential settlement with a female employee.

When the Scotts tried to confront Graham about his alleged inappropriate behavior, he wrongfully terminated them in retaliation of their confrontation, resulting in loss of their positions, income, and their investment.

In the lawsuit, Graham’s sexual harassment of one female employee are mentioned on multiple occasions. An independent law firm was commissioned to investigate the incidents since Graham’s wife was the Human-Resources Director at the time. In one of the incidents, Graham was given a ride home by the female employee after he had too much to drink, and he proceeded to go through her laundry and ask where her underwear was.

A second incident with the same female employee happened during a company trip to a beer festival in Colorado where Graham asked the employee and her mother about their breasts during a taxi ride. The independent law firm found a total of five incidents where Graham had used “offensive sexual remarks” as well as “offensive physical conduct,” making the workplace a hostile environment.

The Scotts both have filed claims with the state Department of Fair Employment & Housing, and they would like a judge to proclaim that they are owed damages with a 40% interest, along with punitive damages and legal fees.

If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated due to retaliation and would like to know your rights as an employee in the state of California, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.

USAA Brokers Given $1.8M by Finra Arbitrators for Wrongful Termination Suit

USAA brokers Christopher Johnson and Lee Anne Przybyla have been awarded $1.8 million by Finra arbitrators after they filed a lawsuit claiming they were wrongfully terminated by USAA. Johnson and Przybyla were terminated in April 2017 after they allegedly sought compensation they were not entitled to. Johnson and Przybyla responded with a lawsuit against USAA claiming breach of contract, defamation, and wrongful termination.

Johnson was given a total of $850,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, while Przybyla was awarded $700,000 in total for compensatory and punitive damages. Each of the brokers was also given $250,000 in fees for their attorneys. The arbitrators had the reason for the brokers’ wrongful termination on their U5 Form documents changed to “voluntary resignation” rather than “involuntary termination” as it was originally written.

If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated and you would like to know your rights as an employee in the state of California, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.

Fresno State and Former Athletic Director Reach Settlement

Jim Bartko, the former athletic director of Fresno State, has reached a mutual settlement with the university after he filed a wrongful termination claim last year. Bartko claimed that high-ranking administrators as well as the president of Fresno State, Joseph Castro, developed a plan to tarnish Bartko’s name, leading him to resign from his position.

In January of 2017, Bartko received treatment at Sierra Tucson for a sexual assault he experienced as a child. In his claim, he brought up his mental disability/mental condition, saying that the university did not attempt to accommodate his disability. Bartko allegedly experienced retaliation and discrimination because of his mental disability.

Castro was considering contract negotiations with Bartko in February after Bartko mentioned he would be leaving to stay at Sierra Tucson for treatment, and after hiring a new football coach for the university. Castro and other administrators expressed concern after reports of Bartko being seen drinking alcohol when working for the university and at business lunches.

Bartko was put on an improvement plan for his job performance in July, which he believed was an excuse for retaliation and discrimination. He was told in November that he could resign and receive severance, or be terminated with cause. Bartko signed an agreement to receive severance, but alleges in his claim that he was not given enough time to read the resignation documents properly. Bartko sought $3 million in damages in his claim for defamation, breach of contract, and infliction of emotional distress. A settlement has been reached.

If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated due to retaliation or that you have been discriminated against because of your disability and would like to know your rights as an employee in the state of California, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.

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