In the News: Recent Result
$1.95 Million in class action for unpaid wages and misclassification of gig-economy workers.
McCormack & Erlich won a $1.95 million settlement in a worker misclassification lawsuit filed against Moet Hennessey USA, Strategic Experiential Group (SEG) and other related entities. Plaintiffs Krystle Harrison, Napoleon Aparicio and Shyron McDougall sued their former employers, alleging they misclassified workers as independent contractors and failed to pay them their rightful wages. The plaintiffs represented a class of models, logistics personnel and brand ambassadors who worked for the companies.
$1.6 Million in settlements for race discrimination/wrongful termination at a factory.
$1.1 Million in a disability/pregnancy discrimination & wrongful termination case.
Wrongful Termination and Pregnancy Discrimination
After working hard at a major grocery chain for almost 15 years, our client was seen as a great employee by her managers. In 2014, she became pregnant and went on maternity leave. Directly after, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that required additional medical leave to deal with both the pregnancy and the serious disease. Our client kept her company informed of her conditions, sent doctors notes and emphasized how eager she was about coming back once her health was better. The company’s HR department sent a termination letter to the wrong address even though she had been in regular contact with her supervisor. She did not even learn she had been fired until nearly a month later. Together, we filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination, pregnancy discrimination and disability discrimination. At trial, the jury made an award of $578,425 to compensate for her lost wages, medical expenses and emotional distress, and the company paid our attorney fees and costs.
A cashier who worked for a check-cashing store several years was instructed by her managers to deceive customers in order to charge them higher fees. She told her bosses she was not comfortable providing false information to the customers. She also asked for a stool to sit on after she seriously hurt her back. Although she provided a doctor's note stating she needed the stool, her managers would not let her have one and told her to look for another job. Ultimately she needed medical leave for back surgery and the store fired her in retaliation for her complaints about deceitful practices and request for accommodation for her disability. As a single mother recovering from surgery, the termination left her without income and put her in a dire situation, so this was a client who needed a resolution. We filed suit for disability discrimination and retaliation and were able to negotiate a substantial settlement.
A promotional model contacted us because she felt she had been misclassified as an independent contractor by her "gig-economy" employer. Although she signed up for work on a website and chose her own hours, the company made her attend mandatory unpaid trainings; give detailed instructions on how to do her work; and failed to pay any overtime. While her own claims for unpaid wages were modest, hundreds of other workers were treated the exact same way. McCormack and Erlich filed a class action suit, and based on the combined power of the claims was able to negotiate a very favorable settlement to reimburse hundreds of workers for their damages and make the company change its practices. The model who first spoke with us became a lead plaintiff in the action.
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I am happy with the results
I was owed wages and overtime and my employer refused to pay me. So I hired them to file a lawsuit. Bryan easily understood my very complicated case and I am happy with the results.
- Ebi Z., Tiburon
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Wages and Overtime
A salesperson for an international telecommunications and cloud delivery network corporation called us to discuss a case he had filed with the state Labor Commissioner. After he was terminated he claimed the company refused to pay commissions on sales that had closed. Our attorney realized that in addition to the commissions, the inside salesperson had been improperly misclassified as an exempt employee, and was owed a substantial amount of overtime pay. After dismissing the labor commission complaint and signing with McCormack and Erlich, we were able to get him a larger amount than he originally believed he was owed.
Three African-American temp workers at a Central Valley factory heard their co-workers and supervisor frequently use racist language in the workplace. The workers were hoping for a permanent job and just wanted the racist language to stop. When one of the workers complained to his temp agency about discrimination, they told him “that comes with the territory.” Not long after the complaint, all the African-American workers at the plant were fired. The company wrongly believed it could fire temporary workers for any reason and the company Human Resources Manager thought that it was OK to use the “n-word” as long as it was not in a “hostile” manner. By filing a lawsuit, the workers and our firm together were able to put an end to these practices and obtain substantial compensation.
A dental hygienist in a Central Valley town had complained that a dentist at her practice made sexual remarks that were inappropriate in the workplace. The hygienist was dedicated to the practice, had worked there nearly ten years, and all she wanted was a workplace free from rude and suggestive comments about women. Unfortunately the dentist responded with hostility, and when she complained again to H.R. the hygienist was fired. We were able to obtain compensation for lost wages due to the termination, and damages for severe emotional distress caused by this harassing and retaliatory treatment. Also as a result of the case the dentist came under scrutiny by his institution and no longer practices there.
A customer service worker for a large healthcare company developed severe carpal tunnel syndrome due to the repetitive data entry she had to do on the computer every day on the job. Although there are numerous available technologies that enable people with carpal tunnel to keep working , the company made no effort to find an accommodation for her condition and instead required her to go on medical leave, then terminated her employment. We filed suit for medical leave retaliation, failure to accommodate a disability and other claims, and were able to reach a negotiated settlement that compensated her for wages she lost due to the termination.