Monday, 30 November 2009

Wrongful Termination | Tabitha Totah v. LucasFilms

Trial Date: PENDING

Jurisdiction: Superior Court of California, San Francisco County

Summary: Plaintiff Tabitha Totah, a female of Arab ancestry, was hired by Lucasfilm to be a temporary project employee, and was soon promoted to Marketing and Special Events Manager. Plaintiff’s job requirements included traveling around the world to supervise exhibitions of Star Wars memorabilia. Her superiors were Defendant Casey Collins, and later she would also report to Defendant Paul Southern. Immediately Totah noticed Collins offensive comments to some employees, such as “fag” and “bitch.” In addition to the negative environment in her office, on a business trip to Europe, a Portuguese contractor working for Lucasfilm constantly bragged about his sexual exploits which was extremely offensive. Totah complained to her superiors as her work environment being toxic. No corrective action took place. In preparation for another business trip, Supervisors Collins and Southern told Plaintiff they received information of her participating in inappropriate sexual relations with partners while in Europe, which was completely untrue. Plaintiff demanded to speak with HR, but was not allowed before leaving for her next trip. However, before leaving she called a fellow employee to verify if he had provided the false information to her superiors, he denied emphatically. When she returned from her trip, Plaintiff received a call from Defendant Collins stating she had been fired. The next business day she met with HR to inquire about her termination, and the given response was that it was the telephone call to her co-worker prior to her departure.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Wrongful Termination | Moffitt v. Oakdale/Modesto

Trial Date: PENDING

Jurisdiction: Superior Court of California, Stanislaus County

Summary: Plaintiff has filed a complaint claiming that he was wrongfully terminated.
As to Defendant Oakdale: Hostile racial environment—slurs, racial jokes, and guns in the workplace; denial of overtime; constructive discharge. As to Defendant Modesto: Fired because of prior protected activity; denied transfer to another job; racial epithets. Defendant City of Modesto denies plaintiff’s allegations. A demurrer was filed to Plaintiff’s second amended complaint by City of Modesto. Oral argument was held on March 12, 2009.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Pregnancy Discrimination | Julie Gilman-Veronese v. LucasFilms

Trial Date: 05/07/2010

Jurisdiction: Superior Court of California, Marin County

Summary: This is a case of pregnancy discrimination in employment. Plaintiff Julie Gilman Veronese was hired by Defendant LucasFilm, Ltd as a personal assistant to George Lucas. After the employment contract was signed but before Julie’s first day of work, she informed her immediate supervisor that she had become pregnant. Upon hearing this, the supervisor peremptorily instructed Julie not to report to work. Julie was NEVER allowed to go to work and was ultimately fired on August 8.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Dangerous Work Environment | Scott et al v. Lennar Class Action

Trial Date: PENDING

Jurisdiction: Superior Court of California, San Francisco County

Summary: Plaintiffs were willfully and negligently exposed to the toxic chemicals from a construction site where Defendants failed to mitigate the exposure of toxic chemicals. Plaintiffs have suffered damages to their bodies as a result of the exposure. Plaintiffs seek relief in the form of punitive damages, emotional distress, exemplary damages, compensatory damages, including medical expenses and for loss of earnings. Plaintiffs seek a jury trial.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Race Discrimination | Lloyd v. McCormick & Schmicks Restaurant

Trial Date: PENDING

Jurisdiction: Superior Court of California, Alameda County

Summary: Four Plaintiffs from differing backgrounds and differing job classifications join together to sue their employer, Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto in Berkeley, California. The Plaintiffs tell a story of a hateful, violent gay bashing in the restaurant kitchen. The Plaintiffs tell a story of vicious anti-African American racism, against customer and employee alike. African-American customers are segregated away from the view of the rest of the customers in the back of the restaurant. Servers say their African American customers are “cheap, loud and complainers” and refer to parties of African Americans as “ghetto tables.” One manager, a rising star in the Defendant’s organization, refers to his African American customers as “rats.” The Plaintiffs have experienced ruined careers, humiliation and vicious racial slurs at the hands of their employer.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Whistleblower, Harassment and Discrimination | William McDaniels et al v. State of CA Corrections et al

Trial Date: PENDING

Jurisdiction: Superior Court of California, Solano County

Summary: All Plaintiffs are African American. William McDaniels refused to obey an order or directive that violated CDCR rules and State regulations. He was then retaliated against including demotions for his whistle-blowing. All three Plaintiffs were harassed and discriminated against when Sergeant Hightman violated CDCR policy and Union rules by calling them in the middle of the night advising them when and where to report to work the following morning and sending them to NAPA when the reported work at the assigned time at their assigned worksite at the Vacaville prison facility. Plaintiffs’ economic damages have not yet been calculated. Plaintiffs seek a jury trial.

Racial Discrimination and Wrongful Termination | Iesha Moreno v. Tom Duffy/B.R. Funsten Company

Trial Date: PENDING

Jurisdiction: Superior Court of California, Solano County

Summary: Plaintiff Iesha Moreno is a former employee of Defendants. She alleges racial discrimination, harassment, retaliation, failure to prevent, and wrongful termination. She seeks compensatory damages, including lost wages and emotional distress, as well as an award of punitive damages. Plaintiff denies any wrongdoing, and Plaintiff seeks jury trial.

Racial Discrimination | Boris Bryant et al. v. FMC Technologies; ProStaff

Trial Date: 03/01/10

Jurisdiction: United States District Court - Texas, Southern District (Houston, Texas)

Summary: Plaintiffs are eleven African-Americans and one West Indian employee, who allege fifteen causes of action against their employers, FMC Technologies Inc. and Prostaff Personnel Acquisition Corp. Throughout their employment, Plaintiffs endured four separate noose incidents, countless racial slurs including “nigger,” “creole nigger,” “nigger-rig,” “nigger lover,” “monkey,” “boy,” jokes about “chicken and watermelons,” racist cartoons and graffiti, violent racist websites, KKK symbols, hate crime references and systemic discrimination.

Sexual Harassment and Wrongful Termination | Aileen Agustin v. Stanford University et al.

Trial Date: PENDING

Jurisdiction: Superior Court of California, Santa Clara County

Summary: Plaintiff Aileen Augustin was hired as Program Administrator in the Archaeology Department at Stanford University. Plaintiff tells a story of constant sexual harassment stemming from her supervisor Professor Ian Hodder. Defendant Hodder made remarks such as “you women talk too much” and “don’t be so emotional – women get too wrapped up in this.” Defendant complained to HR about harassment, as well as about Hodders’ affair with another employee in the department. The affair led to favoritism of Hodders’ partner at the expense of other employees including Plaintiff. Plaintiff’s complaints to HR led to retaliation and hostile work environment, causing emotional distress and a panic attack where Plaintiff was rushed to hospital. Upon returning from medical leave, Plaintiff was accused of misuse of the university credit card, and eventually terminated for alleged misconduct. Plaintiff was actually the one who brought misuse of the credit card to the attention of her superiors, and in addition she has receipts to prove she was in a different location than where the unapproved purchases were made.