Sealy to Pay $175K to Settle “Severe Racial Harassment” Charge

Equal Employment OpportunitySealy, a mattress and box spring factory in St. Paul, Minnesota, will pay $175,000 to settle a charge of “severe racial harassment,” according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The federal agency said Sealy subjected black and Hispanic employees to harassment that involved a noose, Ku Klux Klan hood, and racist epithets and jokes.

As mentioned in Twin Cities, the agency also found that the company discriminated against black and Hispanic employees in the selection of lead positions at the St. Paul facility and violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Going forward, Sealy has committed to provide their employees with anti-discrimination training, revise and disseminate an anti-harassment policy, implement a more objective application process for lead jobs, and require compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity laws as part performance evaluations of supervisors, the EEOC said.

“We are pleased that Sealy worked cooperatively with us to fashion an anti-harassment policy that will better address employee complaints,” Julianne Bowman, EEOC Chicago district director, said in a statement.

If you have been victimized by your employer, contact us today for a consultation with an experienced CA employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.


Melrose Resort Sued for Unpaid Wages

Unpaid WagesMelrose Resort and its owners are being sued by former employer, Tamar Berg who claims she worked for two months without pay.

According to the lawsuit, Berg began working at Melrose Resort in June 2015, and went without a paycheck from August 15, 2016 through October 19, 2016.

In addition, the suit states that “although Pelorus had ceased payment of wages … Berg was encouraged to remain working with a promise (of) wage payments in the near future.”

As described in The Island Pack, withholding Berg’s pay was “willful, without justification, in violation of the (law), and in violation of the duty of good faith and fair dealing,” the suit said.

The suit asks the court to demand the resort and its owners provide “a complete and accurate accounting of the wages owed to Berg,” and compensate her for those earnings, damages, legal fees, and other related costs.

If you think your rights have been violated, contact us today. Don’t let wage and overtime issues go unaddressed.


Glenn Beck and The Blaze are Countersuing Tomi Lahren

Lawyer Putting Documents In BriefcaseTheBlaze and its founder, Glenn Beck, are countersuing the former employee, Tomi Lahren, after she filed a lawsuit against them alleging wrongful termination.

Conservative commentator, Tomi Lahren alleged that Beck and The Blaze cancelled her nightly talk show because of her pro-choice comments on “The View” last month.

“I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies,” she stated on “The View.”

As stated in Business Insider, the countersuit from Beck and TheBlaze was filed on the grounds that Lahren breached her employment contract by making public statements that reflected negatively on the network. It claimed that it never terminated Lahren, stating that the company “relied on the industry standard ‘pay of play’ provision in her contract” which allowed the company to cease broadcasting Lahren’s show while continuing to pay her. The suit also disputed Lahren’s claims that her email account was terminated and that TheBlaze had blocked access to her Facebook page.

“TheBlaze never had access to Lahren’s personal social media accounts and has taken no action to block her from using them – as can be demonstrated by her continuous Twitter stream and Instagram posts,” the countersuit states.

Wells Fargo Employee Fired for Not Scamming Customers

FiredMelinda Bini has filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo bank and three supervisors from the branch she worked at in Highland Park, NJ. As mentioned in MSN Money, Bini accused her superiors of running or knowing about the scheme and says she was retaliated against and later fired for refusing to participate. Bini, a former assistant vice president and regional private banker, is seeking her job back and damages.

Wells Fargo paid $185 million in fines to federal and local authorities after it acknowledged that its employees opened as many as 2 million checking and credit card accounts without customers’ authorization.

“Our non-retaliation policy makes clear that no team member may be retaliated against for providing information about suspected unethical or illegal activities or possible violations of any Wells Fargo policies,” said Kevin Friedlander, a spokesman for the bank.

If you’ve been wrongfully discharged from your job in retaliation for exercising a legal workplace right, call the California Employment Law Group for aggressive legal representation.

NY Court Revives Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

JusticeThe 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan revived Matthew Christiansen’s lawsuit against Omnicom Group Inc. and drawing fresh scrutiny to the boundaries for defining gender discrimination claims in federal courts.

As mentioned in US News, Christiansen’s lawsuit alleged he was discriminated against because he was HIV-positive and because he failed to conform to gender stereotypes. He had asserted he was harassed in part because he was perceived by his supervisor at DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc. in 2011 to be effeminate and submissive. DDB Worldwide is an international advertising agency and subsidiary of Omnicom.

2nd Circuit Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann said “carving out gender stereotypes related to sexual orientation ignores the fact that negative views of sexual orientation are often, if not always, rooted in the idea that men should be exclusively attracted to women and women should be exclusively attracted to men — as clear a gender stereotype as any. Thus, in my view, if gay, lesbian, or bisexual plaintiffs can show that they were discriminated against for failing to comply with some gender stereotype, including the stereotype that men should be exclusively attracted to women and women should be exclusively attracted to men, they have made out a cognizable sex discrimination claim.”

If you believe you are a victim of discrimination in the workplace, contact us for a case evaluation.

Former Employee at Cal Poly Sues the University for Being Terminated While Pregnant

Pregnancy Discrimination

A former human resources employee at Cal Poly has sued the university, alleging that her September termination was discrimination on the basis of her pregnancy, sex and medical condition. As describes in The Tribune article, the university contends the woman was let go because of “documented performance issues.”

The lawsuit, filed March 28 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, names Sarah Lalou Lessing as the plaintiff, represented by Santa Barbara-based attorney Julian Alwill. In addition to the university, Samson P. Blackwell, Cal Poly talent acquisition and recruitment director, named as a defendant. The complaint alleges Blackwell was Lessing’s direct supervisor.

Lessing’s complaint states that she started her job as an Administrative Support Coordinator in Cal Poly’s Human Resources Department on April 11, 2016 and discovered she was pregnant five months later.

Though state law forbids termination because of pregnancy or pregnancy disability leave, it does not prevent an employer from terminating based on other causes. However, the complaint states that Blackwell, Cal Poly talent acquisition and recruitment director, praised Lessing as “an exceptional individual” that he was “honored to have” on staff.

As mentioned in The Tribune, Lessing has sued the university for compensatory damages, attorney fees and the costs of the suit. Cal Poly has until April 28 to file a response to the complaint in court or request an extension.

For assistance with your pregnancy discrimination issue, rely on the thorough expertise of the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group.

Orlando Employee Files a Federal Discrimination Lawsuit Against the City

DiscriminationDavid Gillespie, filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the city on Tuesday, seeking an injunction to stop the alleged discrimination, compensation and unspecified punitive damages. As mentioned in Orlando Sentinel, the lawsuit says he was assigned triple the workload of fellow investigators, who were black, for less pay, and that he was asked to delay a medical leave he needed for hip replacement surgery.

“We take any allegations of discrimination or harassment seriously,” said city spokeswoman Cassandra Lafser. “We launched an extensive internal investigation into allegations of this raised by the employee. The result of that investigation found no evidence of unlawful discrimination or harassment.”

Gillespie has worked for the city for more than 10 years. He was rehired in 2011, after being laid off amid budget cuts during the Great Recession in 2008.

The lawsuit alleges that Newton told him, after he was rehired, that she didn’t want him back because he was white. Gillespie first filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which in January notified him that he had the right to file his own lawsuit.

Discrimination is prevalent in a myriad of forms. We fight to protect your rights and to put an end to workplace discrimination. Contact us today!


Westchester County to Pay Former Employee $380K Over Firing

Getting FiredWestchester County will pay an ex-employee $380,000 to settle a lawsuit after she claimed she was fired because of a political feud.

As mentioned in Lohud, Dhyalma Vasquez, who worked for the Department of Social Services, said in a 2013 suit that she was targeted because of her affiliation with the county Independence Party, which was tussling with County Executive Rob Astorino.

The county Board of Legislators approved the settlement at their meeting March 20. Vasquez will get nearly $85,000 in damages, $150,000 in backpay and $115,000 in attorney fees.

If you have been terminated or fired, our Wrongful Termination & Wrongly Fired Checklist can help you identify reasons for which your discharge might have been unlawful.

Livonia, Mich., to Pay $84,750 to Settle a Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

Gender Discrimination

Country Fresh LLC, a milk manufacturer in Livonia, Mich., will pay $84,750 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­tunity Commission (EEOC).

According to Insurance Journal, the EEOC’s lawsuit alleged that Country Fresh violated federal law by failing to promote a woman to a supervisory position because of her sex. According to the suit, Country Fresh denied the employee promotions to positions such as production supervisor. She had worked in various production jobs throughout the plant, had decades of experience, and was repeatedly bypassed for promotions while men were promoted.

The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 2:16-cv-11551) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its conciliation process. The consent decree settling the suit, in addition to the monetary relief, prohibits any similar discrimination in the future and requires Country Fresh to train its supervisors, managers and human resources representatives on sex discrimination.

Discrimination based on sex or gender is illegal in the workplace. Protect your rights! Contact us today for a free consultation.

DoorDash to Pay Class Members $3.5 Million to Settle Lawsuit

MisclassifiedDoorDash will pay class members of the lawsuit $3.5 million, following the court’s approval. According to Tech Crunch, the company has also agreed to pay an additional $1.5 million in four years or when one of three things happen: DoorDash goes public, the company is profitable for a full year or some other company acquires DoorDash at double its current valuation.

In September 2015, Cynthia Marciano and Evan Kissner both separately filed lawsuits against DoorDash, alleging that DoorDash misclassified them and other delivery workers as independent contractors, and therefore violated certain provisions of the labor code.

“We firmly believe that the autonomy and flexibility Dashers love is made possible by, and consistent only with, their status as independent contractors,” DoorDash General Counsel Keith Yandell wrote on the DoorDash blog. “That said, we feel that this settlement represents a fair compromise, addresses valuable Dasher feedback, and makes changes that will further cement Dashers’ status as independent contractors.”

Do you believe that your employer has misclassified you? If so, contact us now for a free consultation.