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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 Legal 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 Legal 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 Legal 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 Legal 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 Legal 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 Legal Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.

Party City Sued for Terminating Pregnant Employee with Disability

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against Party City for wrongfully terminating pregnant ex-employee Jahneiss Groce because of health complications due to cervical cancer. Groce was told she was pregnant in fall of 2015 when she was working as a team leader at Party City. Her pregnancy led to health complications due to her recent battle with cervical cancer, so she was given a medical note by her doctor to specify workplace restrictions.

Per Groce’s job description, she was expected to stand, climb ladders, and lift up to 25 pounds, which she was unable to do. Party City’s Human Resources Department sent her a form to have her doctor fill out so that she did not have to perform such intensive tasks, but Groce found out on February 1, 2016 that she was wrongfully terminated in a letter sent stating, “when your doctor releases you to return to work, and if you would like to return to work at Party City, you may apply for any open positions for which you are qualified.”

According to an EOCC attorney, “companies do not have to accommodate pregnant employees, but they must accommodate employees who have a disability” therefore, Groce was in fact wrongfully terminated for having a disability due to her health complications. The EOCC is seeking back pay with interest in addition to extra compensation for the mental and emotional distress Groce received from Party City.

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

Ex-Employee Sues EmBe for Wrongful Termination

As reported by Ellen Bardash in The Daily Republic, a former EmBe employee, Auranette Antaya, is suing the company for allegedly firing her as retaliation to her filing a worker’s compensation claim.

Antaya, who led after school and summer programs at EmBe’s Mitchell branch from July 2017 until her dismissal on Oct. 12, 2018, asserts in a complaint filed Thursday that the company fired her despite positive performance reviews and did not pay worker’s compensation or other legally entitled benefits in connection with a shoulder injury she sustained on the job.

The complaint alleges that multiple times, Angie Bakke, the chief care officer for EmBe, asked Antaya not to file for worker’s compensation for the injury, as doing so would “negatively impact the company.”

The complaint further states that when Bakke learned of the surgery, “working conditions, employer’s attitudes and job demands began to suddenly change.”

Antaya is suing for wrongful termination and retaliatory discharge, as well as for punitive damages. Her complaint argues that EmBe that she was fired in retaliation to her filing a worker’s compensation claim.

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

CEO of Warner Bros. Steps Down After Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara has stepped down and is being investigated for sexual misconduct allegations regarding the sexual harassment of British actress Charlotte Kick. Tsujihara has allegedly been texting Kirk since 2013 saying that in exchange for sex, he pledges to get her acting roles in films. When asked if Tsujihara had ever sexually harassed her, Kirk responded with, “Mr. Tsujihara never promised me anything.”

WarnerMedia, owned by AT&T, is working with a third-party law firm in order to finish the investigation with cooperation from Tsujihara. He worked for WarnerMedia for over 24 years, and became CEO and chairman of the company in 2013. Tsujihara helped Warner Bros. see the most financially rewarding year it had ever seen in 2017.

AT&T acquired Time Warner in 2018, and despite Tsujihara not being formally convicted of sexual harassment, his departure from Warner Bros. has led management from AT&T who merged over from Time Warner to depart as well.

If you are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Legal Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.

 

 

Former Coach at Oak Ridge Wins Nearly $2M in Wrongful Termination Suit

John Edward Anderson, a former track and field coach at Oak Ridge High School in Tennessee won nearly $2 million in a wrongful termination and age discrimination lawsuit.

In April 2015, Anderson met with the former principal at Oak Ridge in order to discuss allegations regarding a school trip to South Carolina that had recently been brought up on the internet and concerned parents of the students.

Anderson was suspended from his track coach duties, and was told a week later that he would be suspended until May 11. Upon returning, he was given permission to continue at Oak Ridge only as an assistant coach until the end of the season.

Anderson met with the superintendent to attempt to explain the truth about the situation, but the superintendent wrongfully terminated him taking the internet’s word over Anderson’s word. Anderson was escorted off the grounds, and was told on the way out there was an allegation regarding him inappropriately touching a student 12 years before being terminated.

In Anderson’s lawsuit, he said he was discriminated against for his age when he drank wine in the presence of students on a trip to France, even though two other teachers had also been drinking wine and were not retaliated against in the same fashion he was.

If you have been wrongfully terminated by your employer, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Legal Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.