Posts Tagged ‘Scott M. Behren’

We have blogged on many occasions on beating your non-compete agreement. The enforceability of them varies from state to state and can be dependent upon what state you worked in and what state your employer was located in.

Boston Beer Corp., the brewer of Sam Adams beer, recently sued a former sales executive and a rival California brewer, of Anchor Steam, he went to work with to try to keep him from divulging any of its trade secrets.

This case is interesting since in California, non-competes are generally not enforceable. However, Boston Beer sued Judd Hausner and Anchor Brewing of San Francisco in Boston a state that allows non-compete clauses in employee contracts.

In its lawsuit, Boston Beer seeks to enforce its non-compete against Mr. Hausner for one year. Boston Beer claims that Hausner hold confidential trade secrets.

This confidential information included Boston Beer’s secret plan for introducing new products in 2012, as well as sales and pricing numbers for the customers served by the entire Western Division of the Company (extending through the western states of the United States and into Canada). These secret plans and confidential data were disclosed to Hausner to enable him to compete more effectively against direct competitors such as Anchor.

Will keep you posted on how this beery interesting case turns out.

If you want to draft, review, negotiate or litigate over a non-compete, feel free to call Scott Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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Federal and state protections against race discrimination apply to you when working for an employer, but are also relevant when you apply for a job with an employer. An employer may not discriminate against you in making a hiring decision based upon your race, gender, age, etc. Of course, proving the reason why they refused to hire you is another issue altogether. Although, its easier, as in the case of Bass Pro where they tell you why they are not hiring you.

The federal government has sued national outdoor retail chain Bass Pro Outdoor World alleging racial discrimination in its hiring practices dating back to 2005. The Equal Opportunity Commission, a federal agency charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws in employment, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Houston on Wednesday. The lawsuit alleges that qualified African-Americans and Hispanics were routinely denied positions at Bass Pro stores and managers of stores in Houston, Louisiana and other locations made derogatory racial comments acknowledging the practice. The commission also alleges that Bass Pro destroyed documents related to applications and internal discrimination complaints and retaliated against those who spoke up.

Bass Pro denies all of the allegations and complains that the EEOC suit is prompted in part by the perception that people who like NASCAR and the outdoors are more likely to engage in discrimination.

If you believe you have been refused a job or promotion, based upon your race, age, sex or gender, feel free to file a Charge with the EEOC or call Scott Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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As discussed before, a pregnant employee can face many different legal issues with her employer that impact many different laws including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and possibly the Genetic Information Nondisclosure Act (GINA). Pregnant employees also need to know about their short term and long term disability insurance plans and how they interact with these laws. Most of these laws clearly cover natural pregnancy and adoption, but what about birth by surrogate?

That issues is now being addressed in a recently filed case. A US businesswoman is suing her employer after she was allegedly denied maternity leave following the birth of her twins through a surrogate mother.

Kara Krill, a clinical business manager at the Massachusetts-based company Cubist Pharmaceuticals, is claiming breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, discrimination on the basis of her disability and gender, and negligent misrepresentation by the company. She is seeking an injunction against Cubist, as well as compensatory and punitive damages.

Krill developed Asherman’s Syndrome – a condition which rendered her infertile – following the birth of her first child. When she and her husband decided to have a second child they used a surrogate. The resulting twins are biologically related to both Krill and her husband.

Following her first pregnancy, Krill was given 13 weeks of paid leave under the company’s maternity leave policy. However this time Krill says she was informed that she would only be entitled to five days of paid leave and up to $4,000 in expenses – as is offered to adoptive parents. Paternity leave under Cubist’s policy is also five paid days.

In her letter of complaint to Cubist, Krill stated: ‘But for my physical disability, I would be receiving the paid maternity leave offered by Cubist. Accommodating my disability would not require [Cubist] to provide me with any more benefit than other mothers’. Furthermore, she complained of discrimination and verbal abuse by her supervisor in the workplace due to her disability and surrogacy arrangement.

What do you think about Krill’s situation?

If you or someone you know is pregnant, and are not sure how to navigate the maze of legal issues that face you, feel free to call Scott Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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Under Federal law and most state laws, sexual harassment is not permitted in the workplace and should not be tolerated.

University of Texas Longhorns football coach Mack Brown’s longtime associate athletics director for football operations was dismissed from the university last March because a university investigation determined he made repeated unwanted sexual advances toward a female administrative assistant over a two-year period

Cleve Bryant, who oversaw numerous daily activities for the Longhorns, including game-day-operations, team travel and recruiting weekends, was fired after a university investigator determined “that Mr. Bryant did sexually harass” the staffer and that “the harassment was likely both verbal and physical.”

The sexual harassment complaint was filed by Rachel Arena, a then 24-year-old football department employee who had graduated from Texas in 2008.

The investigation show that Arena told investigators:

• That during a July 2010 meeting in Bryant’s office about whether she would receive a raise, Bryant pulled down the top of her dress and bra and fondled her breast.

• That Bryant repeatedly either told her in person or texted her that “I want to kiss you.”

• That Bryant retaliated after she told him to stop texting by creating a false allegation that she had acted inappropriately at a minor league baseball game she attended with some former Texas football players.

• That one day while in the break room, getting a bottle of water, Bryant came in, stood in front of the door as she started to leave and said, “Kiss me.” Arena said she turned away and Bryant kissed her on the neck before she could leave.

• That two other female office workers alleged that Bryant had inappropriately kissed them in the past.

• That another woman in the athletic department referred to Bryant as “old-freak-nasty” and that he once told Arena “he wanted to touch me, that he wanted to pleasure me, that he could, that he could make me happy, referring to sexually, things like that.”

Bryant, who is married, denied all of the allegations.

If you have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace, feel free to call Scott Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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We have blogged in the past about the Family Medical Leave Act which allows you to take up to twelve weeks off, of unpaid leave, to address a family pregnancy, adoption, illness or death. Upon returning to work, your employer is required to make sure your job or one substantially the same is still available. One problem, though, is that the Federal law only covers employers with at least 50 employees. This can be problematic for many employees of smaller companies with no comparable state law protections, case in point, Claudia Rendon of Philadelphia.

Claudia Rendon, 41, of Philadelphia, said her employer, Aviation Institute of Maintenance, fired her after she took time off to donate a kidney to her son.

Rendon, who worked for a year and a half in the school’s admissions office, said she notified the school that she planned to take leave on July 19 to undergo kidney transplant surgery on July 21 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania on behalf of her 22-year-old son, Alex, whose kidney failed last January. After extensive testing in early July, Rendon was found to be a match.

Kidney transplant surgery normally requires at least six to eight weeks of recovery time, and Rendon said the Aviation Institute agreed to give Rendon unpaid leave until Sept. 1. Rendon told ABCNews.com that on her last day of work before the surgery, her manager promised Rendon she would have her job upon her return, but one hour later, asked her to sign a letter acknowledging that her job was not secured.

“They said, ‘If you don’t sign this letter, you are abandoning your job and quitting,’” Rendon told ABCNews.com. “I said, ‘I am not abandoning my job. I am saving my son’s life.’”

The fact that the FMLA does not cover Ms. Rendon does not necessarily mean she is out of luck, there is also a possibility that she can bring claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act or relevant disability insurance policies.

If you find yourself wrongfully terminated, speak to an employment lawyer to learn your legal rights. Feel free to call Scott M. Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

In the interim, everyone should send hate mail to the wonderful people at Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Philadelphia.

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This blog frequently blogs about sexual harassment in the workplace and the remedies available to employee where they experience sexual harassment.

Well, the television show, “The Price Is Right” has now been accused of sexual harassment in the workplace. A former model on “The Price Is Right” game show filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging wrongful termination and sexual harassment by producers who continually humiliated and berated her, according to court papers.

Lanisha Cole names the producers of the popular game show, Michael G. Richards and Adam Sandler as well as their production company, Fremantle Media North America.

Cole began working on “The Price Is Right” in 2003 but beginning in December 2009, the situation began to deteriorate when Richards suddenly and inexplicably stopped speaking to Cole and began showing favoritism to another model with whom he was having a relationship, the suit alleges.
According to the court papers, Richards used policies “which never before existed” to limit her modeling work on the show and engaged in abusive behavior.

While called into a meeting about alleged sexual harassment involving another model, Cole complained about her own treatment.

Months later, Cole informed management she had to miss a day of work because of a family commitment and was told she would not be able to work for that week, the lawsuit says.

When she returned, she was told she was “holding the show hostage” because of her complaint.

We will continue to keep you posted on any developments in this new lawsuit. In the meantime, if you have problems with sexual harassment in the workplace, go to Human Resources or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) to make a Complaint. If that does not work or the problems become worse, speak to an employment lawyer that handles sexual harassment matters. Feel free to call Scott Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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College View Donuts, LLP paid $290,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after the EEOC charged that a manager of a Wynantskill Dunkin’ Donuts store sexually harassed female employees.

The EEOC said at the time the suit was filed in November 2009 there may have been as many as 15 victims, some of whom were 16 or 17 years old. The manager was fired after the harassment allegations surfaced, but the EEOC said store management allowed the manager to continue harassing employees for a year after two employees first complained.

The manager engaged in unwanted touching and hugging, as well as making lewd sexual comments, the EEOC said.
College View Donuts will pay $290,000 to the former employees and has agreed to a six-year consent decree that calls for appointing an equal employment opportunity coordinator and for all employees and managers to undergo sexual harassment prevention training. The settlement was announced Tuesday.

If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment by a supervisor, you probably want to take it to your Human Resources Department in order to address and/or investigate it. If you continue the experience problems, speak with an experienced employment law attorney. You can call Scott M. Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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The news continues to show that the workers that seem to most frequently get their wages stolen from them are restaurant workers. Frequently not getting paid minimum wage or overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

The owner of Ayara Thai Cuisine restaurant in must pay $162,201 in back wages to 35 employees for violating federal minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping laws, officials said Monday.

Ayara Thai owner Ayut Asapahu paid his workers in cash at a flat rate for their hours worked. The rate was below minimum wage and without regard to overtime as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. Department of Labor said in a statement.

Investigators determined that the restaurant owner failed to keep records of employees’ hours and pay, but learned through an investigation that Asapahu paid his kitchen employees $80 to $110 for an 11- to 12-hour workday.

Other employees worked six- to 12-hour workdays, most receiving a daily rate of $45 to $50, authorities said.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked. They also must be paid time and one-half their regular rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 hours a week or eight hours a day.

Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records.

“Many restaurant workers in the Los Angeles area are subject to unacceptable wage practices and irregularities, and we are determined to make sure that they and other vulnerable employees are paid proper wages,” Kimchi Bui, director of the Los Angeles district office of the Labor Department’s

If you believe you are not getting paid properly by your employer, feel free to contact Scott M. Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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The Americans with Disabilities Act not only applies to employees who are disabled, but also has provisions to apply to public accommodations.

Disneyland is facing a lawsuit for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act due to a mishap on the ‘It’s a Small World’ ride.

The lawsuit was filed by a quadriplegic man that said he was stranded by Disneyland employees for 40 minutes after the ride broke down. Jose Martinez said that both he and his wife were left on the ride whilst all the other passengers had been evacuated.

During the ordeal Martinez suffered dysreflexia, which is a condition that affects the nervous system as a result of overstimulation. In severe cases it can cause stroke or even death. He said that despite his requests for medical attention, he received none and employees didn’t help to get him off of the ride.

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The Florida Senate and new Florida Gov Rick Scott are now seeking to restrict unemployment benefits to employees calling some recipients of these benefits “slackers and malingerers.”

State Sen. Nancy Detert, filed a bill Monday that would tighten unemployment eligibility, make it easier for businesses to deny benefits and push laid-off workers to take lower-paying jobs after they have received 12 weeks of payments.

The bill would also reduce benefits for workers who’d received severance packages and require first-time claimants to complete a workplace-skills test within 14 days of filing for benefits.

Detert, R-Venice, chairs the Senate’s Commerce and Tourism Committee.
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