Employment Discrimination - Disability

REPRESENTATIVE CASES

  • Matter pending in the Los Angeles Superior Court brought by the long-term employee of a tow trucking business. Plaintiff’s causes of action arose from his claims of violations of overtime, meal and rest period, and discrimination laws.  Plaintiff’s allegations included claims of not receiving wages attributable to commissions and having commission earnings inappropriately accounted, resulting in violations of minimum wage requirements.

  • Employment class action alleging employer failed to provide meal and rest breaks, overtime, and accurate pay stubs.
  • Cross-Defendant/Plaintiff’s allegations included sexual harassment by her employer, wrongful termination on the basis of disability, and battery.  Defendant/Cross-Complainant’s allegations included elder abuse, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and interference with contractual relations.
  • Wrongful termination allegations by long term employee of one of the largest owners of numerous automobile dealerships in the state.  Employee alleged discrimination of the basis of membership in a protected class, including religion/race.  Employer presented defense of at will employee status of plaintiff and lack of damages.

  • Action pending in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, Central District, Stanley Mosk Courthouse, arising from plaintiff’s claims of wrongful termination in violation of public policy and discrimination on the basis of age, race, and national origin due to allegations that the defendant, a large automobile dealership, goaled to have a sales force that consisted of persons of East Asian origin.  Plaintiff allegations included claims of defendant’s attempts to hire a sales force of young people and terminate older Africa American employees.  Plaintiff alleged he was not paid his full commissions and was terminated so that younger people could take his place.  Defendant’s claims included statistical information indicating the plaintiff was included in a layoff of a number of employees of various ages and races as an economical, cost cutting effort.  Defendant’s allegations included a defense that plaintiff failed to complain about any discriminatory treatment during his years long employment and his position carried a high compensation package, but his work could be performed by an employee at a much lower compensation.  Defendant pointed to statistical evidence in support of defense of the legally valid goal of employing a multi-lingual sales force.

  • Mediation of matter pending in the Central District of the United States Federal Court alleging employee termination as a result of whistleblower activities regarding unsafe conditions to U.S. Department of Transportation and discrimination based on disability.  Defense of Defendant, a large nationwide private company, was based on Plaintiff’s lack of compliance with company safety regulations.  Causes of actions: 29 CFR §825.220, Cal. Labor Code §6310, Cal. Labor Code §1102.5, and Gov. Code §12940(j).

  • Employees of large, prestigious hotel claimed that they were forced to clock out and continue working during their meal break.  Labor Code violations and wrongful business practices alleged section 203, 226.7, and 226 (a).

  • Plaintiff brought action against a fast food restaurant employer for termination in violation of public policy, alleging she was discriminated against on the basis of gender and disability.  Plaintiff claimed that her employer failed to accommodate her pregnancy by refusing to allow her to change her graveyard shift to day.  Her employer presented a defense on the basis of having a valid and reasonable business.

  • Employee alleged that he was misclassified as an exempt employee and sought damages under the Labor Code as a restaurant worker.  The dispute involved claims for payment of alleged overtime.

  • Plaintiff, a sushi chef in a restaurant alleged misclassification and brought action in Superior Court for failure of defendant to pay overtime wages (Labor Code §1194), failure to provide meal and rest breaks (Labor Code §226.7 & §203), failure to keep accurate records (Labor Code §226), and unfair business practices.  Defendant alleged plaintiff was an exempt employment as head sushi chef, having tremendous creative discretion in preparing sushi for his customers, and that customers relied upon his creativity in their special orders.  Plaintiff countered that he prepared sushi from a set menu and did not have creative control.  The parties resolved their dispute with the mediator’s assistance.

  • Dispute regarding allegations by an employee of a large public institution of disability discrimination. The employer alleged that the “injury, illness or condition” suffered by the plaintiff did not require accommodation as a matter of law.

  • An employee alleged that she complained to her employer about computers which were located in a manner which caused injury and strain to herself and to her co-workers. When she received no response, she complained to OSHA. Her employer yelled at her during a meeting for complaining, and announced that she had to go. Her work station was relocated to an undesirable location, and she was removed from the online work schedule. She requested accommodation at her new work location for her ongoing cancer treatment, but received no response. She requested being returned to her former work location, and instead, was relocated to an even less desirable location which did not provide accommodation, and her hours were reduced. She requested to transfer to a vacant and available position which would accommodate her condition, which was denied. She then repeatedly complained that she was being retaliated against and was not being accommodated. Employee sued for failure to accommodate and engage in interactive process in violation of Government Code section 12940, for disability discrimination, and retaliation in violation of Labor Code section 1102.5.

  • Employee alleged that, after spending 20 years as a laborer in the shipping department, she underwent cancer treatment, preventing her from lifting heavy loads. She alleged that she was requested to and did provide a physician's note listing her restrictions. Adequate accommodation was not provided, and the physician determined she was unable to work. After spending a year out of work on disability, she requested to return to work, but was not given her former position, nor an alternate position, accommodating her limitations. Employee sued for violations of Government Code section 12940 for disparate treatment based on disability, failure to provide reasonable accommodation, failure to engage in the interactive process, for the failure to prevent harassment, discrimination and retaliation, for retaliation, for violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (Government Code section 12945.2), and for wrongful termination, discrimination and retaliation in violation of public policy for exercising her rights.

  • Complaint for disability discrimination, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, retaliation, failure to accommodate disability, failure to engage in interactive process, and wrongful termination in violation of public policy.

  • African-American maintenance mechanic alleged that he had a disability and was injured on the job, for which he filed a workers’ compensation claim. His supervisor allegedly exhibited favoritism toward Latino workers, and discriminated against non-Latino workers, including plaintiff. Plaintiff claimed that his supervisor made derogatory remarks about him in Spanish and was wrongfully terminated. Plaintiff filed a claim with DFEH for wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment in violation of Government Code section 12940 for race and physical disability, failure to engage in interactive process, failure to accommodate, harassment, retaliation, violation of Labor Code section 1102.5(c), fraud and deceit, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and unfair competition in violation of Business and Professions Code section 17200.

  • Nigerian public school teacher alleged that he was criticized by a new principal for his teaching methods and accent. He further alleged that, when the teacher complained that he was being discriminated against, the principal’s harassment intensified. The teacher complained to DFEH and EEOC, received a right to sue letter, and filed a complaint alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in violation of Government Code section 12940, et seq., failure to prevent discrimination, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

  • Complaint for harassment/hostile work environment in violation of FEHA, discrimination in violation of FEHA, retaliation, failure to prevent harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, wrongful termination in violation of public policy, negligent hiring and supervision, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

  • Dispute alleged that sexual harassment was tolerated by management which participated in supporting an atmosphere of acceptance that male engineers were superior in their work to that of female engineers.

  • Dispute in which female employees alleged that employees of a small business were required to attend a weekly company off site meeting at a hotel bar, and that employees were encouraged to consume alcoholic beverages, which allegedly resulted in the sexual harassment of female employees by unwanted touching by and inappropriate conversations with male co-workers.

  • Dispute in which a male employee of a large public institution alleged a hostile workplace and sexual harassment by other male employees who regularly engaged in inappropriate and unwanted conversations about their sexual activities.

  • Dispute in which a public service employee alleged that she was wrongfully transferred to a less desirable work location in retaliation for refusing to submit to the sexual advances of the highest ranking employee in the unit.

  • Dispute regarding allegations of sexual harassment of a male hospital worker by other male hospital workers.

  • Dispute regarding allegations by a male nurse of sexual harassment by his female supervisor.

  • Dispute regarding sexual harassment by a female office worker who contended that she was given a drug without her consent at an office retreat, and was raped while she was under the influence of the drug.

  • Dispute regarding sexual harassment alleged by a female employee who contended that the head of her department retaliated against her by giving her undeserved poor performance reviews after she refused to have sexual relations with him.

  • Dispute regarding sexual harassment alleged by a high level public employee who contended that the head of her department tolerated a work environment in which inappropriate sexual conversations, including sexual humor and print materials, were tolerated, and that her complaint resulted in retaliation against her, and ultimately, resulted in her termination.

  • Dispute regarding a male employee who brought a wrongful termination action against his employer, alleging that his employer failed to properly investigate false allegations of sexual harassment brought against him by a female employee who was under his supervision, and that her allegations were brought in retaliation when he properly promoted a male employee instead of promoting the female employee.

  • Fifteen year old high school student alleged that she took a driver’s training behind the wheel course. She further alleged that her instructor told her to park in a secluded area where he then sexually assaulted her. The student sued the driving school for negligent hiring, retention, and supervision, negligence, and unfair business practices in violation of Business and Professions Code section 17200.

  • Employee alleged that her production manager constantly harassed her by making sexually explicit comments and gestures, showing her pornographic material on his computer, inappropriate touching, and trying to arrange to give the employee a private massage outside of work. He called her several times a day at work to talk about non-work matters and to flirt, lifted her pant legs to see her socks, and propositioned her to join him on their lunch break and in the bathroom. He asked her to send him pictures of herself, and she refused. The production manager told her that any raise she receives would be because of him, and after she continued to refuse his advances, he implied that she would be terminated. The employee continued to complain, and ultimately, a meeting was held to reprimand the production manager, attended by the entire chain of command. The ensuing turmoil in the workplace resulted in the employee being ostracized, her hours were reduced, and her schedule was changed to conflict with her child care. Due to the hostile work environment, the employee left her job. She filed an action against the production manager and her employer for unlawful harassment, failure to prevent harassment, and retaliation in violation of Government Code section 12940, constructive discharge/wrongful termination in violation of public policy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

  • A lead man for a major studio hired a female set dresser on the condition that she pay him her first month’s wages and submit to his sexual demands. The set dresser alleged that, when she started work, he reminded her of the arrangement, and she gave him two checks. The lead man threatened to terminate the set dresser unless she agreed to be his girlfriend. He regularly tried to touch and kiss her in front of his supervisor and others. Several times, he offered to pay for her personal items using studio funds, which she declined. He called her and texted her with inappropriate messages, mostly after midnight. She repeatedly asked him to stop, and advised him that she was very uncomfortable with his conduct. When she didn’t reply, he threatened to drive to her house and bust down the door. He also demanded more wages from her, threatening to terminate her. He insisted on spending the Christmas holiday with her and her family, again threatening to terminate her if she refused. He then withheld her paycheck, and did not allow her to leave work when all others left, saying she was ‘in the penalty box’. He finally terminated her, and she filed an action against him and the studio for sexual harassment by maintaining a hostile work environment, failure to prevent discrimination, wrongful termination for gender discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, and for failure to pay wages and for waiting time penalties in violation of Labor Code sections 201, 202, and 203.

  • Sworn law enforcement officer alleged in her complaint that she was reassigned from her position involving hazardous materials when she became pregnant. The officer alleged that she did not request the reassignment, and when she returned to work after her pregnancy, she was not reassigned to the hazardous materials position. She met with Human Resources, where she was advised to ‘ask nicely’ for her former position. When that didn’t work, she filed a grievance for violation of the Family and Maternal Leave Act because she was not returned to her former position. Her grievance was granted, and she alleged she was discriminated against for having filed a grievance. She was instructed to stop carpooling with, working out with, and having lunch with the fellow officer who was her union representative during the grievance. Their work schedules were changed to prevent them from carpooling. Her complaints were deemed unfounded by Internal Affairs. She filed an action for FEHA violations of Government Code section 12940 for gender discrimination, retaliation, and failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation.

  • Female patrol officer alleged that she was one of six female officers in a 95 police officer force. She alleged that women were not hired, were not allowed to pass probation, were unfairly scrutinized, were written up for petty offenses for which the male officers were not written up, were not offered promotional opportunities, and were not promoted. Plaintiff had served for seven years, and was the last female to be hired and complete probation. She was replaced in a forensics position by a male officer, and was not allowed to work as a detective, use her forensic expertise, or train officers in forensics. She obtained a right to sue letter from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and filed an action against her employer for gender discrimination and retaliation under Government Code sections 12940 et seq.

  • Plaintiff was a veterinarian who worked for an animal hospital, and when hired, was a male with a female gender identity/gender expression. Over the course of plaintiff’s sixteen year tenure with the animal hospital, plaintiff gradually and more frequently revealed gender identity at work by dressing as a female, growing long hair, wearing make-up, and other expressions of dress. After work, plaintiff more fully expressed the female gender identity. A co-worker saw plaintiff after work when dressed as a woman, and the next day at work, plaintiff saw a computer background containing a monkey wearing a dress. Plaintiff learned that the gender identity was widely known at work, and plaintiff started receiving the silent treatment. Plaintiff’s supervisor told plaintiff that plaintiff could not wear female clothes or accessories. These restrictions were not placed on other women working there. Plaintiff formally changed her name and gender to match her identity. Plaintiff was treated differently, the job security was threatened, and plaintiff was ultimately terminated due to the expression of gender identity. Plaintiff filed an action for discrimination, harassment and creation of a hostile work environment, wrongful termination in violation of public policy, and failure to prevent discrimination, in violation of Government Code section 12940.

  • Dispute regarding allegations by an employee of a large public institution of disability discrimination. The employer alleged that the “injury, illness or condition” suffered by the plaintiff did not require accommodation as a matter of law.