Articles Posted in Discrimination Overview

Wage and hour cases are not the sole province of the U.S. Last year, nearly 200 migrant laborers from Nepal died in the country of Qatar while working on construction projects in that country. To protect the rights and welfare of migrant employees, the International Labor Organization, together with officials in Qatar, constructed a 50-page document. These guidelines aim to protect migrants working on creating the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in Qatar.

FIFA, the world governing body for the sport of football, had demanded that Qatar reform its working practices. However, independent organizations, such as the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), say that the new proposed guidelines will fall far short of what’s needed. Qatar uses an employment system known as “kefala,” that gives sponsor companies huge rights over the lives of migrant workers. For instance, workers cannot get an exit visa from Qatar without first getting permission from their employers.

Qatar’s so-called “World Cup Supreme Committee” has tried to upgrade the welfare standards for workers, who include contractors and subcontractors working on the World Cup stadium. The committee argues that the new guidelines will be “robustly and effectively monitored and enforced for the benefits of all workers.”

Sexual harassment at the workplace touches a nerve because it’s emotionally and viscerally offensive. But to get the behavior to stop, victims often need to be objective and systematic. This can be quite challenging. Consider the fine line between flirting and harassing someone. How can you tell the difference, and how can you prove it in court?

It’s easy to find extreme examples that clearly fall on one side of the line or the other. For instance: two coworkers share a mutual hug after closing a big account — that’s probably fine. However, when a supervisor sends his secretary lewd emails about his sexual fantasies, that’s likely harassment.

But not every situation is cut and dry.

The thought of calling a New York employment law attorney may fill you with anxiety or dread, for reasons you can’t quite put your finger on. Even though your boss harassed you — or a client or coworker said hurtful racially or sexually inappropriate comments — you’re worried. What will happen if/when you complain? Will you lose your job? Will things get better… or worse?

Subconscious or unconscious resistance can prevent many victims from getting the help they need. Let us take a look at 4 common rationales people use to defer taking action:

1. “The situation isn’t that bad – it’s going to get better.”

The New York Post is reporting on an astonishing New York sexual harassment case involving ex-Playboy Playmate, Stephanie Adams. Joseph & Kirschenbaum proudly represents the plaintiff, 32-year-old yoga instructor and massage therapist, Dilek Edwards, who alleges that Adams illegally fired her in October. Why? Out of an unfounded fear that Ms. Edwards had been flirting with her husband.

Ms. Edwards had been working for the Wall Street Chiropractic Clinic owned by Adams and her husband, Charles Nicolai. When Nicolai started training with Edwards back in June, he warned the yoga teacher that his wife “might become jealous” and insisted that his yoga therapy [which he needed to recover from an accident] “had to be a secret” because he worried that his wife might get upset and jealous.

Even with that ominous warning, nothing could have prepared Edwards for a text message she received at 1:30 a.m. on October 30th from Adams that read “you are NOT welcome any longer at Wall Street Chiropractic, DO NOT ever step foot in there again, and stay the F-K away from my husband and family!!!!!!!” Edwards says that Adams’ insinuations are “absurd” and insists her relationship with Nicolai had been “purely professional.”

It’s shaping up to be one of the biggest Fair Labor Standards Act class actions of the year – and certainly one of the biggest in the history of the state of Nevada.

U.S. Magistrate Judge, George Foley Jr., granted conditional and class certification to plaintiffs, who allege that the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas underpaid them. The giant resort, which opened in December 2010, is valued at $3.9 billion. According to Attorney Joshua Buck, who’s helping to lead the class action, “it’s pay for time owed, and pay for work done… we’re trying to get people unpaid wages for time they’ve already worked.”

So what exactly happened? Will the 7,158 current and ex-employees of the Cosmopolitan collect $70 million plus in back wages?

On August 23, Judge William T. Moore of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Georgia dismissed Paula Deen’s sexual harassment lawsuit “with prejudice.” The announcement prompted many court observers to conclude that Deen had settled out of court with the Plaintiff, Lisa Jackson, an ex-general manager at her Deen’s Savannah, Georgia restaurant, Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House. Jackson had accused the celebrity chef and her brother, Earl W. “Bubba” Hiers, of an array of inflammatory charges, including using sexist and racist language, sexual harassment, assault, and infliction of emotional distress.

Jackson also made a racial discrimination claim against Deen. This claim was dismissed — not necessarily because the alleged racist behavior didn’t occur, but because Jackson is a white woman, so she lacked proper standing to make such a complaint.

Racism and Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Deen Sparked a Firestorm

If your boss sexually harassed you or discriminated against you at work, you may feel a lot of sympathy for Irene McCormack Jackson, the former spokeswoman for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. Ms. Jackson has sued her old boss for subjecting her and several other female colleagues to an ongoing campaign of groping and “crude and disgusting” workplace comments.

Since Jackson made her shocking allegations, nine other women have come forward, also accusing the Mayor of similarly aggressive, despicable workplace behavior.

A CNN story about the 70-year-old Filner highlighted the account of one woman, Renee Estill-Sombright, who said that the Mayor approached her in June at a church banquet. He called her “beautiful,” asked to take her out, and asked whether she was married. Estill-Sombright said “I felt kind of weird” about the Mayor’s comments.

When sexual harassment occurs, the content is often explosive and x-rated.

But what obligations do journalists have to print the “blow-by-blow” of accusations, in full florid detail?

Slate reporter, Amanda Hess, considered that question in a recent online piece, “At the NYT, ‘All The News That’s Fit To Print’ Does Not Include Sexually Harassing E-Mails.”

Cases involving racial harassment and retaliation are often nuanced.

There are some legal subtleties to this case. But other matters contain so many stark and disturbing details that they almost seem made up. As you learn what happen, you wonder “how on Earth could this have happened and lasted as long as it did?”

Joseph & Kirschenbaum recently brought an action in United States District Court on behalf of a counselor at a New York City rehabilitation facility. What our plaintiff suffered is astonishing, given that these events occurred in the 21st century. Here is a brief catalog of some (not even close to all!) of what our client alleges he went through at his job:

On April 15th, nude dancer Jodi Noelle Durfee filed a suit against a Portland strip club owner, Patrick Benjamin Schwartzkopf, accusing her ex-manager of sexually harassing her and then retaliating when she complained about his behavior.

The ex-dancer and bartender said Mr. Schwartzkopf groped her while inebriated and under the influence of cocaine, while she worked at the Skinn Nightclub in Northeast Portland, Oregon.

Durfee began working at the club in December 2012. According to court documents, she said that Schwarzkopf slapped and grabbed her – often inappropriately touching her in front of customers. She also said he talked to the bar’s customers about her sex life.

Contact Information