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Former Turing Pharmaceuticals Employee Sues for Disability Discrimination

Lisa Briggs-Miller, 57, has filed a lawsuit against Turing Pharmaceuticals for allegedly discriminating against her on the basis of disability. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2017 and going through chemotherapy treatment, Briggs-Miller returned to work full-time after only being diagnosed a couple of months prior.

Briggs-Miller asked if she could work as a telesales representative while she recovered from her surgery, but Turing told her they would cut her pay by 50% if she worked from home. Ten months later on July 30, 2018, she was laid off over the phone by her boss, Walter Gordon Drane. He claimed her territory was being dissolved, and that her position would be removed.

Briggs-Miller was told the bad news two weeks after informing Drane of her double mastectomy surgery date, and she was laid off the day after he approved time-off for it. However, Turing Pharmaceuticals denies ever being made aware of her reconstructive surgery.

In her lawsuit, Briggs-Miller alleges she was denied reasonable accommodation for her disability while working full-time, and that she was retaliated against for filing a complaint about the lack of accommodations for her disability that violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Briggs-Miller is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, claiming she lost compensation and benefits, along with the attorney fees and charges she would not have had to pay if Turing had given her accommodations.

If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated or discriminated against for 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.

Employee at Office of State Fire Marshal Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Dorothy Bonsant, an employee who has worked for the fire marshal’s office in Maine since 2008 has filed a lawsuit alleging that her co-worker, Sgt. Scott Richardson, sexually harassed her. The lawsuit states that Bonsant was subjected to sexual harassment by Richardson until October 2017.

The allegations against Richardson include showing perverse interest in Bonsant, sending inappropriate emails, continuously mentioning her appearance, and in late 2015 he moved his cubicle directly next to hers in order to have more interactions with her. Richardson then proceeded to seek hugs from Bonsant, which she opposed, and in 2017, he grabbed her by the hips and squeezed them with force, asking her to join him in his camper.

Shortly after Bonsant filed a complaint with HR at the fire marshal’s office, she was told Richardson had threatened to kill two co-workers in 2016 after Richardson allegedly made comments about a potential employee that were age discrimination-based. After hearing about the threats, Bonsant missed 184.5 hours of work for sick days, compensatory days, and vacation time due to her sleepless nights and fear for her safety.

Bonsant’s lawsuit states that the state of Maine allowed illegal sexual discrimination to occur since the state fire marshal’s office failed to protect Bonsant in the workplace, and has yet to take any action against Richardson. Both Richardson and Bonsant still work for the Office of State Fire Marshal. Bonsant’s lawsuit seeks back pay, damages, attorney fees, and more.

If you are experiencing sexual harassment 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.

Ex-Texas Christian University Employee Sues for Discrimination

Former Texas Christian University employee Ricardo Avitia, has filed a lawsuit against the university for discrimination after he asked for a new work status due to his workload, which was instead given to a white female worker.

Avitia, a Hispanic veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, wanted to work over 40 hours a week without initiating overtime pay in order to process financial aid applications for military veteran students. Avitia’s new work status request was denied, and TCU retaliated against him after he asked why a white co-worker received the status while he did not. He was then placed on a performance improvement plan because he was “failing to keep up with an increased workload” after he filed his complaint.

On April 26, 2018, Avitia was terminated. He filed a lawsuit on May 13, 2019 stating that he had been discriminated against due to his race, causing him to be the target of termination. Avitia is seeking between $200,000 and $1 million for damages not only for him, but also for his children who can no longer afford to attend TCU.

If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated or discriminated against for 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 Airport Police Officer Sues for Wrongful Termination and Age Discrimination

Bobby Hoskins, a 60-year-old former patrolman, has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that he was fired by the Charleston County Aviation Authority police department at the International Airport because of his age. Hoskins was hired in 2007, and was promoted less than a year after that. Over the course of ten years, Hoskins worked as a training officer, where he was given positive performance reviews and received raises on a yearly basis.

In March of 2017, a younger supervisor gave Hoskins his worst performance evaluation he had seen in years, leaving Hoskins to believe it was a way to force him into retirement. A year after the performance review, the supervisor threatened Hoskins to “self-demote” otherwise it would not end well for him. In April of 2018, the supervisor told Hoskins he would have to participate in a summary review, at which time Hoskins acquired legal counsel in order to write an official document describing the age discriminatory actions that had been taken against him.

Several days later, Hoskins was placed on administrative leave for handling a male passenger touching a female passenger poorly. After he was placed on administrative leave, he was terminated for allegedly mishandling the situation despite no action being taken against the four other employees who were also involved in handling the incident.

Hoskins’ lawsuit alleges that his supervisor was attempting to build a case to get Hoskins fired by allowing Hoskins’ fellow squad members to contact the supervisor directly and climb up the chain of command. The Charleston County Aviation Authority police department is being sued by Hoskins for wrongful termination due to age discrimination, and the suit is seeking damages including back pay and attorney costs.

If you have been wrongfully terminated or discriminated against for your age, 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.

Student Sues Clemson University for Professor’s Sexual Harassment

Bradley Hieronymus, a Clemson undergraduate student studying food science and technology, is suing his professor Felix H. Barron for sexual harassment. Hieronymus’ lawsuit alleges that Clemson University failed to comply with Title IX, which includes the prevention of sexual harassment in education, since the university did not provide him with a remedy for the situation.

Hieronymus initially interacted with Barron in 2017 to ask if he could participate in a course allowing students to perform research for class credit. Barron ended up bringing Hieronymus to a food science meeting in the fall, and then became his work supervisor in spring 2018. Barron invited Hieronymus on a spring break trip to Mexico, and started to “exert control and influence” over him through text messages. Barron also had Hieronymus lie about his paid work hours on time cards, causing Hieronymus to lose out on proper wages.

A trip to Peru was set up by Barron to present on food safety issues with Hieronymus, and Barron’s alleged sexual harassment increased during the trip. At one point, he attempted to reach his hand into Hieronymus’ pants, and ended up grabbing at him. Hieronymus reported the behavior when he got back to the United States, which led to the Office of Access and Equity sending Hieronymus a letter stating they found a significant amount of evidence showing Barron had “violated Clemson’s Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy.”

Barron was dismissed from the university on July 23, 2018. According to Hieronymus’ attorney John Reckenbeil, the lawsuit states that Clemson has yet to properly compensate Hieronymus for the wages and overtime he earned by traveling with Barron and working for him. The lawsuit asks for damages from Barron, however, the lawsuit pertains more to the university failing to make the situation right for Hieronymus. The goal of this lawsuit is not only to help Hieronymus heal, but also to help prevent future cases of sexual harassment at the university.

If you are experiencing sexual harassment 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.

New Jersey Ex-Paramedic Sues Health Care Company for Wrongful Termination

A former New Jersey paramedic, Michael Senisch, is suing health care company AtlantiCare for alleged wrongful termination. Senisch is a licensed physician assistant and a practitioner of Reiki, a holistic approach that is used in place of traditional treatment.

On February 28, 2016, Senisch was working as a paramedic for AtlantiCare when he responded to a call at Wendy Johnson’s house, a woman who was suffering from an open wound in her right breast. After having failed twice to place an IV in Johnson, Senisch called an AtlantiCare doctor who suggested he try an intraosseous infusion on Johnson.

However, Johnson did not consent to having the intraosseous infusion, which led to Senisch offering Reiki, a form of energy healing, despite the doctor’s suggestion. Johnson consented to the holistic treatment. In a complaint that was issued, when Johnson arrived at the hospital, the AtlantiCare doctor was so frustrated with Senisch’s holistic treatment that he ended up performing the infusion on Johnson anyway without her consent.

On March 3, 2016, Senisch was terminated by AtlantiCare who claimed his “clinical judgment is questionable” in a statement. Senisch is suing AtlantiCare for wrongful termination in retaliation against his holistic treatment of Johnson out of respect for her preferences.

If you have been wrongfully terminated by your employer, 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.

Employee Sues Contra Costa County Fire District for Ignoring Assault Reports

An employee of 15 years of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District has filed a lawsuit against the agency alleging that the district’s leaders repeatedly ignored her complaints of her supervisor sexually harassing her and assaulting her for years.

In the lawsuit, she claims her supervisor, Robert Marshall, would touch her without her consent, lock her in the backseat of his district-issued fire vehicle, and at one point, he even “wrapped a metal chain around Plaintiff’s neck and pulled the chain tightly against her throat” while she was working at her desk.

After the employee notified her direct supervisor, Captain Laing, he reported the incidents to a deputy fire chief, who did not file a workplace violence report. The deputy fire chief did not take any safety measures in order to protect the employee. Marshall remained in his position as a supervisor.

In March 2017, the employee met with an HR manager who found the claims to be substantial, and then she went on medical leave due to the “physical and emotional symptoms” of Marshall’s harassment. She returned in May and was offered a captain position within the district.

The employee’s division later moved into the same building as Marshall’s division, leading to her office being right next to his. She told the division’s leaders of her inability to work with the man who assaulted her. They moved her two doors down from him, but she felt as though he was retaliating against her reports of him by using “forced interactions to intimidate and control her” whenever they were working at the same fire scenes.

She took another medical leave of absence as a result of the district’s inability to respond to her complaints of working with Marshall. In her lawsuit, she is seeking an unspecified amount in damages and attorney fees.

If you are experiencing sexual harassment 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.

Administrator of School District Involved in Whistleblower Lawsuit Against a Chicago School

Adrienne LaCour, a former administrator of Illinois’ Rich Township High School District 227, has filed a whistleblower lawsuit that claims she lost her job in retaliation after reporting a female student’s sexual assault allegations against a relative of the school’s superintendent.

On March 13, 2018, an unnamed 16-year-old female student told LaCour that she had dated the 17-year-old male relative of the superintendent, which led to the boy physically threatening and harassing her. School officials were notified of the assault by the female student, but she says they never looked into the matter due to his relation. LaCour took it upon herself to reach out to the superintendent, he said he already knew about the situation, became irate with her, and stormed out of the room.

LaCour shortly after her meeting with the superintendent called the authorities, which led to the Department of Children and Family Services being contacted. Two months later at a board meeting, the superintendent suggested that LaCour be replaced.

The school district’s board claims their decision to terminate LaCour was part of a district restructuring plan, not as a form of retaliation against her report. However, LaCour was told prior to reporting the assault by the superintendent that she was one of the best administrators in the district, and that he looked forward to having her return the following year.

LaCour’s attorney made a statement regarding her lawsuit, saying that what the school did “was both harmful to students and against the law.”

If you feel that you have been retaliated against for being a whistleblower of sexual harassment 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-Netflix Employee Sues for Pregnancy Discrimination & Retaliation

Tania Zarak, a former Netflix executive has filed a lawsuit against Netflix for pregnancy discrimination and retaliation. Zarak claims she was retaliated against by her boss, Francisco Ramos, after she disclosed her pregnancy and her plan to take maternity leave.

The lawsuit states that Ramos discriminated against Zarak when he reduced her role with Netflix by leaving her out of project meetings and excluding her from project emails after he was informed of her pregnancy. Ramos also allegedly made constant demeaning comments in regards to her appearance, which she believes created a hostile and discriminatory work environment.

After filing a complaint with Netflix’s HR Manager about Ramos reducing her work role due to her pregnancy discrimination, Zarak asked to be transferred to a different department in order to avoid the discrimination, but the manager stated she needed to talk to Ramos about it.

When the issue of transferring departments came up, Ramos dismissed Zarak and said it was impossible. Shortly after, he pressured her to quit working at the company. When she declined the option to quit, she was wrongfully terminated the following day with no explanation for her termination.

If you are experiencing pregnancy discrimination 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.

Female Police Sgt. Sues Lower Merion Police Department for Sexual Harassment

Jo Anne Pepitone, a 37-year-old female police sergeant has filed a federal lawsuit against the Lower Merion Police Department, superintendent Mike McGrath, and the township for sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

According to the lawsuit, superintendent McGrath has condoned and turned a blind eye to sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the Lower Merion Police Department. Pepitone also claims that another officer texted her nude photos of himself in 2016, which Pepitone assumed was by accident, but the officer intended on her receiving them. Pepitone includes the sexual harassment of other female members of the force in her lawsuit and states that no woman has ever been promoted to lieutenant, captain, or superintendent in the Lower Merion Police Department.

The lawsuit also states that Pepitone had multiple rumors spread about her involving sexual relationships with other police officers, and that a promotion she earned was gained through a sexual relationship with her supervisor. Pepitone also claims a fellow officer tried to track her location by GPS in an attempt to prove that she was having a sexual relationship with a cop from another police department.

A formal complaint was filed by Pepitone in April 2018, which led to her first negative performance review from the department after 10 years of service as retaliation for her complaint.

If you feel that you have been retaliated against for being a whistleblower of sexual harassment 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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