Category

Blog

Binary Capital Accused of Harassment by a Former Employee

Former employee, Ann Lai is suing Binary Capital LLC for harassing and defaming her after she resigned from the firm. Lai was a principal at San Francisco-based Binary specializing in data and analytics until May 2016. The allegations surfaced shortly after the company’s co-founder and chief executive, Travis Kalanick resigned last week.

In the lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of California in San Mateo County, Lai claims co-founder Justin Caldbeck texted her repeatedly after she left the firm, threatening her not to disparage or divulge information about the company and threatening to ruin her career, Bloomberg reports.

Lai left Binary because of its “sexist and sexual environment,” including inappropriate conduct with female staff at company outings, a female-specific dress code and statements about the attractiveness of Lai and other women such as startup founders, according to the lawsuit.

In the complaint, Lai said Caldbeck began pressuring her after she left the firm, after she had complained about the behavior and tried to keep her from talking about her experience at the firm. The lawsuit argues that Binary’s actions caused Lai economic and emotional harm. She is seeking civil penalties, attorneys’ fees and costs, economic and general damages.

 

Panda Express to Pay $600,000 In Federal Worker Discrimination Lawsuit

Panda Restaurant Group, Inc. has reached a $600,000 agreement with the federal government after being accused of discriminating against workers who weren’t American citizens.

According to USA Today, the Chinese food chain required its employees who were legal permanent residents of the U.S. to reestablish their work authorization when their documents expired even though they didn’t ask the same of their staffers who are citizens, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The business also required non-citizens to show their immigration documents to verify again that they could work even though they’d already done so previously.

Under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, employers aren’t allowed to ask for workers for these kinds of documents when it’s based on their citizenship status or national origin.

Panda Express will have to pay $400,000 to the federal government, and create a $200,000 fund to provide back pay to affected workers. The company said it never intended to discriminate.

‘Golden Girls’ Cafe Owner Accused of Sexual Harassment

Owner of the Golden Girls themed cafe has been accused of sexually harassing his former assistant. The cafe owner, Michael J. La Rue was a close friend of the late actress Rue McClanahan, who played the bawdy southern belle Devereaux on the popular TV series.

His former personal assistant Henry Campbell began working for Michael J. LaRue and his upper Manhattan eatery Rue LaRue Cafe in October 2016.

As mentioned in the New York Post, the suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, says that LaRue “would discuss his preferred sexual preferences with [Campbell], and inform him how he was ‘in demand’ because he was a ‘top.’”

When Campbell complained to his boss about the behavior, LaRue retaliated by firing him in January, the suit says.

University of Maryland Employees File a Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Michael Bell and DuRay Jones filed a lawsuit against the University of Maryland alleging they were discriminated against because of their race. The men are each seeking $1.5 million, according to the lawsuit.

The employees said the university fostered a hostile working environment, retaliated when they complained about misconduct and inflicted emotional distress.

As mentioned in The Baltimore Sun, the lawsuit alleges that university management treated Bell and Jones differently than their white counterparts. The university’s actions caused “depression, humiliation and loss of daily enjoyment of life,” according to the lawsuit. Christal Edwards, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said their lawsuit is just the latest symptom of a culture of racism on the College Park campus.

Abraham Goodwin alleged the university “continues to retaliate against me for exercising my rights to complain about racial discrimination that took place and continues to take place in the work place,” according to court documents.

Goodwin settled with the university, Edwards said.

 

College of DuPage Settles Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

Two former College of DuPage administrators have settled their wrongful termination lawsuits against the school, ending a protracted legal battle that began after they were wrongfully terminated in retaliation.

Thomas Glaser and Lynn Sapyta sued the college, former COD board Chairwoman Kathy Hamilton and former interim President Joseph Collins after they were fired in September 2015 for opposing Hamilton’s political agenda.

According to Chicago Tribune, terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but college officials said neither the school nor its insurance carrier would pay any money as part of the deal with former Treasurer Thomas Glaser and former Controller Lynn Sapyta.

“The College is pleased that this litigation has ended,” the school said in a statement released after the vote. “The result is clearly in the best interests of the College.”

Former Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher Mitch Williams Wins $1.5 Million Lawsuit

Mitch Williams has been awarded $1.5 million in a wrong termination lawsuit after being fired by MLB Network for his alleged conduct at his 10-year-old son’s Little League game.

According to ESPN, Williams sued the network after it fired him from his analyst job in 2014, claiming he violated a morals clause. MLB Network said it respects the jury’s Tuesday decision but disagrees with its conclusions and is reviewing its legal options.

The website Deadspin reported Williams was kicked out of one game while coaching his 10-year-old son’s team after cursing and ordered a boy to hit an opposing player with a “beanball” in another game.

 

Travis Kalanick Resigns as Uber CEO

Travis Kalanick, Uber cofounder and CEO stepped down Tuesday has stepped down as the ride-hailing company’s top executive. Kalanick’s exit came under pressure after hours of drama involving Uber’s investors, according to two people with knowledge of the situation, who asked to remain anonymous because the details were confidential.

As mentioned by NY Times, five of Uber’s major investors demanded that the chief executive resign immediately. The investors included one of Uber’s biggest shareholders, the venture capital firm Benchmark, which has one of its partners, Bill Gurley, on Uber’s board. The investors made their demand for Mr. Kalanick to step down in a letter delivered to the chief executive while he was in Chicago, said the people with knowledge of the situation.

“I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight,” Mr. Kalanick said in a statement.

Wells Fargo’s Wrongful Termination Lawsuits

The banking giant Wells Fargo was slapped in December with a proposed multibillion-dollar class action in federal court in California brought by current and former employees of the bank who alleged retaliation for refusing to participate in the alleged scam.

Two wrongful termination lawsuits allege similar retaliation to that alleged by the California plaintiffs. According to Law360, Gayle Piper and Darlene Day each claimed that they reported the “troubling practices” to at least one supervisor and to the company’s ethics hotline, but that Wells Fargo failed to put an end to the alleged misconduct at their respective branches.

In September, Wells Fargo agreed to a $185 million settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office.

Wells Fargo agreed to pay $142 million to resolve 12 other putative class actions from customers alleging bank workers opened unauthorized accounts in their names or enrolled them in the bank’s services without their consent.

Uber Rape Victim Suing for Mishandling of Her Medical Records

The woman who was raped by an Uber driver in India in 2014 has filed a a second lawsuit against the company.

According to CNN tech, the woman — who goes by Jane Doe is suing Uber as well as cofounder Travis Kalanick and former executives Emil Michael and Eric Alexander for invading her privacy and defaming her by illegally obtaining and circulating her medical records within the company following the incident.

Alexander was terminated from Uber last week after allegations that he had obtained and shared the woman’s medical records with Kalanick and Michael. Recode reported that the executives doubted the woman’s report and suspected that the incident was a sabotage attempt orchestrated by Indian competitor, Ola.

Doe’s lawyers, Douglas H. Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen from Wigdor LLP, called it “shocking” that Uber would purport to support Doe and her family in her recovery while “engaging in offensive and spurious conspiracy theories about the brutal rape.”

Google Claims It’s Too Costly To Compile A Historic Pay Data

The federal Department of Labor (DOL) has accused Google of having “systemic compensation disparities” and has requested employee salary and contact information as part of the government audit, but Google has failed to fully comply, sparking a lawsuit.

As explained by Think Progress, because Google is a federal contractor, it is subject to periodic audits by the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to make sure that it meets existing fair pay standards.

Google is still fighting the DOL’s efforts to get a full dataset of compensation information and contact information for employees so that it can conduct interviews. On Friday, Google officials testified in federal court that it would require 500 hours of work and $100,000 to comply with the demands, on top of claiming that it has already expended 2,300 hours and almost $500,000.

“This is obviously a very time-consuming and burdensome project,” said Lisa Barnett Sween, an attorney for the company.