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East Bay Firm Sued for Racial Discrimination and Harassment

DiscriminationSouthland Construction Management Inc. is being sued by their former project manager for racial discrimination and harassment. The lawsuit by Tishay Wright claims the CEO of the company, Kenneth Hayden, and his wife, Anita Hayden, its CFO, made unwanted racist comments and decorated the office with photographs of Trump and Confederate flags stating “The Southland shall rise again.”

According to East Bay Times, Kenneth Hayden dressed as President Donald Trump while Anita Hayden dressed as an apparent Trump supporter, with a Confederate flag-themed purse over her shoulder, and the two took pictures, the lawsuit states. The photos were provided to the media.

The purse was given to Wright, who is black, during the holidays as a Christmas gift during a company party, along with photos of the company owners in costume, according to Wright’s San Francisco attorney, Chris Dolan.

Employees Sue Chipotle for Unpaid Overtime

ChipotleA lawsuit filed against Chipotle Mexican Grill claims the fast-food chain failed to adequately compensate some employees for overtime work under a federal rule that went into effect late last year.

According to USA Today, the lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, alleges the company failed to pay overtime to employees under the new overtime rule issued by the Labor Department last year — and that it’s not the only one. Joseph Sellers, a partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, who represents the plaintiffs, said the issue may apply to other companies as well.

At the core of the suit is the rule that made more employees eligible for overtime pay. It required employers to pay overtime to any worker who earned up to $47,476. Previously, the companies only had to pay overtime to workers making $23,660 or less.

However, in late November, shortly before the rule went into effect Dec. 1, a Texas court put enforcement of it on hold so employers didn’t have to pay overtime to workers who had the higher salary threshold. The lawsuit says Chipotle should be required to continue to pay overtime despite the injunction of enforcement of the rule by the Texas court. It contends the Texas injunction did not apply to private employers and the overtime rule would stay in effect until the court issues its final ruling.

Woman Wins $24K Settlement After Getting Paid Below Minimum Wage

Weekly Time SheetAdriana Castellanos de Dios of Donna sued Universal Used Clothing for violation of minimum wage laws, according to a news release from Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. Universal Used Clothing paid $24,500 in the settlement for illegally paying her under the minimum wage.

According to The Monitor, Castellanos de Dios was paid an unspecified amount under the federal and state minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, despite working more than 40 hours a week without receiving overtime pay. In August 2016 she reached out to TRLA, a nonprofit organization providing free legal services to low-income people throughout Texas. That October, they filed a complaint on her behalf in federal court. The nearly $25,000 award compensates for Castellanos de Dios’ unpaid wages and additional damages, according to the news release.

“I’m very grateful for the settlement,” said Castellanos de Dios. “But I also want other employees like me to be aware that they can fight back against these unfair wages. I want them to realize that what they’re being paid is against the law.”

Taco Bell Worker Fired After Reporting Food Violations

Taco BellFormer Taco Bell manager, William Bisek is seeking $50,000 in damages against Border Foods, after he was wrongfully terminated from a Columbia Heights Taco Bell for raising concerns about food safety and health conditions in the restaurant.

As mentioned by ABC News, Bisek noticed food safety issues that violated federal, state and county regulations. The violations included mold growing in a water supply tank, mold growing in the spouts for beverage dispensing machines, serving expired food and keeping a toilet brush and plunger at the front counter.

Bisek states he reported his concerns to the store manager and later brought up the issues to the company’s regional manager during an unannounced store visit. When management seemed not to care, he began to document the violations in a store log mandated by Taco Bell corporate. Bisek was terminated the next day, according to court documents.

 

Rapper T.I. Faces a New Lawsuit in Restaurant Fiasco

Avery Lee was an employee at T.I.’s Atlanta-area restaurant Scales 925 and filed a lawsuit in November 2015. In the lawsuit he accused his former bosses of willfully and knowingly failing to fully compensate him for his wages and overtime hours. He was awarded a default judgment of $27,486, plus $7,000 in attorney fees, against the restaurant Scales 925.

However, according to Radar Online, Lee’s new complaint, explains he has not yet received the money and he is now suing T.I. for the $34,000 he is still owed.

“The extravagant expenditures by Hughes and Harris in up-fitting the premises for Scales, and upon information and belief, Hughes and Harris in paying for their own personal luxuries with corporate funds and continuing to pay themselves unreasonably high salary, while concealing the insolvency of Scales, drove Scales to financial ruin,” read Lee’s suit.

Lee alleges T.I. committed fraud and demands that the court hold him personally liable for the $34,000 judgment since the former employee can’t collect on the money from Scales 925 LLC due to the fact that the business was dissolved.

Founder of Stray Rescue Sued for Racial Discrimination

Former employee, Gary Gray has filed a lawsuit against Stray Rescue founder Randy Grim and executive director Cassady Caldwell alleging racial discrimination.

The law suit claims employees of the nonprofit were allowed to use and deal drugs and sexually harass others without punishment.

According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Gray started working for Stray Rescue in January 2012 as a part-time caregiver and became a full-time caregiver in May 2013, and specialized in socializing and domesticating feral dogs and cats.

In the lawsuit, Gray said he complained to Caldwell about the unfairness of promoting three white women with less experience than him. He then met with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Aug. 25, 2015.

EmCare Wrongfully Terminated Employees in Retaliation

EmCare Inc. wrongfully terminated three employees in retaliation for filing complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace, as upheld by the jury’s decision in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

According to SE Texas Record, Trahan and two other former employees, Yvonne Shaw and Gloria Stokes, alleged that Jim McKinney, the CEO of AnesthesiaCare at EmCare, made frequent and persistent sexual remarks and gestures in the workplace.

Despite a positive work evaluation in July 2009, Trahan and the two other employees were fired six weeks after filing their complaints against McKinney. Trahan was told by a supervisor that he was being terminated because “it was not working anymore.” EmCare maintains that Trahan was fired due to the “quality of his work and inaccuracies in his contracts.”

The jury found in favor of the EEOC and awarded $167,000 to Trahan, $82,000 to Shaw, and $250,000 in punitive damages to Stokes, who the EEOC alleged had been subjected to a hostile work environment based on her sex and fired in retaliation for her complaints.

Uber Employee Fired for Reporting Sexual Harassment

Uber LogoAn Uber employee claims he was fired for complaining to the company’s HR department about the treatment of women on his team.

According to the complaint filed with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the employee was approached in late 2015 by his female coworkers, who were seeking his help.

As mentioned in Business Insider, the women “sought his intervention regarding alleged sex-based discrimination and harassment they were suffering at the hands of a male supervisor,” according to the complaint. After hearing their stories, he “raised concerns” with Uber’s HR, he said in the complaint.

Instead of investigating the claims, Uber’s HR department told him “we get a lot of phone calls from employees that we don’t always act on,” the employee alleged. He was fired in March 2016, soon after approaching the HR department, according to the complaint.

Colorado Prison Employee sues Captain for Sexual Harassment

Colorado correctional officer, Leticia Cornella has sued prison captain Scott Lancaster for sexual harassment, including making obscene gestures to her in front of her husband and ultimately retaliating against her.

According to the lawsuit, Cornella is seeking lost pay, punitive damages and attorneys fees, according to the lawsuit.

“It is the rare case in which a sexual encounter between a supervisor and his or her underling leads to a stroll into a romantic sunset of marital bliss,” the lawsuit says.

As mentioned in the Denver Post, the sexual harassment continued even after her marriage and in front of her husband and escalated to the point where she lost her job, the lawsuit says.

She filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety, and her doctor recommended she stay away from work for one week and be given work accommodations to avoid contact with Lancaster.

She has been placed on unpaid leave, the lawsuit says.

Washington State Patrol to Pay Military Veterans $13 Million in Back Wages

The Washington State Patrol has agreed to pay up to $13 million in back wages to military veterans who didn’t receive credit for their service in hiring and promotional decisions.

The settlement includes $13 million in cash and about $2 million worth of retirement benefits.

As mentioned in The Spokes-Man, attorneys and legal experts say it’s the largest cash payout in a case brought under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, a 1994 federal law requiring employers to give military members job protections, honor promotions and other benefits that accrue during service.

The lawsuit, filed in Spokane County Superior Court, challenged the State Patrol’s failure to give qualified veterans hiring and promotion preference as required by state law.