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February 2013 Archives

Disability Discrimination Employment Lawsuit Filed Against Sony Electronics

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC) filed a disability discrimination lawsuit today against Staffmark Investment LLC and Sony Electronics, Inc., following allegations that they terminated temporary employee, Dorothy Shanks because of her disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). (EEOC v. Staffmark Investment LLC and Sony Electronics, Inc, N.D. Ill. No. 12-cv-9628).

California Real Estate Company Sued For Disability Discrimination

Real Estate Auction company, REDC Default Solutions in Irvine, California will pay $50,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) following allegations that they unlawfully failed to accommodate a disabled worker. (Civil Action No. 3:12-cv-03885-D in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas).

Caribbean Cruise Line Sued For Spam Calls To Cell Phones

The lawsuit alleges that Caribbean Cruise Line made unsolicited robo-dial calls to consumers on their cell phones, in violation of Telephone Consumer Protection Act, (TCPA).  According to the plaintiffs, the robo-calls were made under the guise of conducting a political survey. However, in reality, the survey was a ruse to gain the opportunity to sell cruises to consumers.  Caribbean Cruise Line submitted a motion to dismiss, containing 3 arguments, each of which the judge rejected.

Employment Lawsuit Filed Against Call Center

An employment class action lawsuit has been filed against Sykes Enterprises Inc, also known as Alpine Access (collectively SEI), which employs 46,000 people in over 75 international service call centers, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and breach of contractual obligations including unpaid wages and unpaid overtime.

Ace Cooling & Heating Sued For California Labor Law Violations

According to the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), Ace Cooling & Heating Corporation failed to pay the necessary California prevailing wage to its employees during a project associated with El Camino Community College Bookstore Modernization project located in Torrance, California.

Settlement Reached In Merrill Lynch Overtime Pay Lawsuit

The lawsuit alleged that Merrill Lynch required associates, who assisted financial advisors, to work more than 40 hours a week but failed to pay them overtime.  The lawsuit was filed by Nancy Martignago, a Merrill Lynch employee since 1985, on behalf of herself and other non-exempt client associates. (No. 11CIV03923)

FTC Targets Fake FTC Robo-Dialing Scammers

The Federal Trade Commission, (FTC) sued Credisure America and MyiPad, following allegations that they used robocalls to get financial information from consumers by offering them bogus "refunds." "The Defendants placed illegal robocalls to consumers and played a prerecorded message alerting consumers to visit the website ftcrefund.com," according to the complaint.  During the message, a prerecorded voice states the following: "Please visit www.ftcrefund.com, www.ftcrefund.com. Your seizure ID number is 123223, again your seizure ID number is 123223. Visit right now www.ftcrefund.com.  Your seizure ID number is 123223. Thank you and have a nice day." The scammers used a procedure called "spoofing" to make the calls look like they were coming from a legitimate FTC phone number, 877-FTC-HELP, which is the FTC's toll-free consumer response phone number. Victims who visited the defendants' websites are told that CrediSure America specialized in private financial forensic and investigation. "Our main targets are large telemarketing and infomercial firms who get shutdown by the FTC for misrepresenting or simply defrauding customers like your self,'" according to the complaint. The scam artists then ask for the victim's  bank information so that the refund can be processed into their account.  The defendants also state that their fee is a percentage of the refund obtained from the FTC: "For only 5.55% we take care of your refund and process it in less than 7 business days as opposed to the standard 8 to 10 weeks." "The page informs consumers that, to process the supposed refund, consumers must provide their: address, phone number, bank number (including the name listed on the account), account number, ABA/routing number, and a check number." According to the FTC, they do not direct deposit redress; the FTC mails paper checks directly to redress recipients. Moreover, the FTC does not publish the names of consumers due to receive redress from FTC consumer protection litigation. "In short, defendants' claims are false. Defendants cannot expedite consumer redress, nor can they receive or process redress on behalf of consumers. If you are receiving illegal robo-calls on your cell phone from a telemarketer or a debt collector, you may be entitled to compensation.  Please give my office, The Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman a call today at (877) 449-8898 for a free consultation.

Kaiser Permanente Sued For Wrongful Termination

Aimee Mansell, former Director of Patient Access Business Services for Kaiser Permanente won her wrongful termination lawsuit against them. According to Mansell she  was terminated after reporting what she believed was patient fraud.   She says in her complaint that she blew the whistle on her boss, Lisa Morrison, who had "devised a policy where Emergency Department employees, including Ms. Mansell, would collect an additional 'triage' charge from Emergency Department patients, or include the triage charge on that patient's invoice for services."

GNC Slapped With Lawsuit For Allegedly Violating Overtime Labor Laws.

Plaintiff, Charles Brewer, a former California employee of GNC, claims that employees who worked the closing shifts at GNC retail stores were not properly paid for certain tasks they completed after clocking out for the day.   “At a certain point during the night, GNC retail store employees log off the cash register and clock out. But they are still required to perform closing duties, including making offsite bank deposits, which leads to overtime violations.” In other words, taking the deposit to the bank after clocking out constitutes overtime. (Case No.: 11-CV-03587 YGR).

Settlement Reached In Spam Text Message Case

A settlement has been reached following allegations that International Academy of Design and Technology, (IADT) sent mass unsolicited text message advertisements to consumers in violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  According to the lawsuit, a third-party marketing firm allegedly sent out text messages regarding IADT.

Charges Filed Against A Santa Monica Car Wash For Violating Employment Laws

The criminal complaint, filed January 23, 2013, has charged the owner, general manager and two supervisors of Wilshire West Car Wash with conspiracy to cheat employees out of their wages. The complaint accuses the defendants of violating California labor laws by prohibiting workers from taking rest and meal breaks, and “coercing employees into signing declarations which falsely stated that they had received paid breaks,” according to city prosecutors. It also accuses the defendants of falsifying and altering employees’ time cards to make it appear as though they worked fewer hours than they actually did.

Settlement Reached In Rite-Aid Employment Lawsuit

A $20.9 million settlement has been approved, following allegations that Rite- Aid Corporation, failed to pay some of its employees overtime. The plaintiffs claim the drugstore chain improperly designated assistant store managers and co-managers as exempt employees, in an attempt to make them not eligible for overtime pay.

Ford slapped with a class action lawsuit for engine defects

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Ford Motor Company for allegedly selling trucks with engine defects and concealing the problems to avoid paying for the repair costs under warranty. Six consumers brought the lawsuit on behalf of all current owners of 2004-2008 Ford trucks equipped with 5.4L engines having less than 80,000 miles. Jason Schmidt et al. v. Ford Motor Co.

Ritz Carlton Reaches $2M Settlement In Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel has agreed to pay $2 million to settle an overtime class action lawsuit filed by 1,500 current and/or former employees in California who allege they were not paid overtime wages. The 1,500 plaintiffs claim they were denied meal breaks, overtime and full pay for accrued vacations and paid time off days. Plaintiffs also allege that Ritz-Carlton denied them overtime pay if they did not receive prior authorization for working overtime.

Former UPS driver awarded $18 million in wrongful termination lawsuit

Plaintiff, Micheal Marlo had worked for UPS for 22 years and over that time he had brought to their attention, concerns about inadequate heaters for the employees working in sub-freezing temperatures, employees working well over 40 hours per week, and employees driving UPS trucks after working more than 60 hours per week, violating DOT regulations.   After his concerns fell on deaf ears he filed a lawsuit in the hopes of improving conditions.  Consequently, Michael Marlo was terminated on November 12, 2008, a few months before his wage-and-hour case was scheduled for trial.

Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Car Crash Case

When you have been hurt in an accident, your world can quickly turn upside down.  Dealing with the physical effects of an accident is traumatic enough, now you have to deal with medical bills, insurance companies and lost wages.  For many people it all becomes very overwhelming.

Did a debt collector call you at work?

In an attempt to track down debtors, many debt collectors will resort to calling them at work.  Because many people do not want their boss or co-workers to know about their financial problems, they will do anything to make the calls stop, including paying whatever the debt collector demands.

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