State and Federal law prohibit discrimination, harassment and retaliation against employees on the basis of race, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, age, gender, or sexual orientation. Employers must also comply with laws requiring safe working conditions and fair and accurate payment of wages, including overtime pay and earned commissions.
Emison Hullverson represents employees who have been harmed by violations of these laws in the following types of cases:
- Sexual harassment / Sexual assault in the workplace
- Discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation
- Retaliation by employer for reporting harassment, discrimination, safety hazards or other illegal conduct
- Failure to pay overtime and other violations of State and Federal wage and hour laws
- Wrongful termination
At Emison Hullverson, we have a proud record of standing up for employees against illegal and dangerous conduct. We work to ensure safe workplaces, to put an end to illegal discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and to help employees receive the wages they have worked hard to earn.
REPRESENTATIVE EMPLOYMENT CASES
Employment Discrimination / Sexual Orientation Discrimination and Retaliation: $3,200,000 Settlement.
In 2008, John Doe was a successful Managing Partner at one of the largest investment banks in the world. He was a star performer in all aspects of his job. John Doe was also a gay man. When management installed a new supervisor of John Doe’s division, the supervisor immediately began making derogatory remarks to him regarding his sexual orientation, suggesting that because he was gay he must have AIDS, etc. The harassment continued and John Doe complained to HR. The company, however, disregarded his complaints and failed to investigate. The supervisor and other managers then retaliated against John Doe for making a complaint, stripped him of his most valuable accounts and falsified his employee performance reviews in an attempt to have him terminated.
Emison Hullverson represented John Doe, investigated and compiled evidence of the company’s illegal and discriminatory conduct, and pursued claims against the company and the senior managers involved for violations of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and related Federal law. After presenting overwhelming evidence of illegal harassment, discrimination and retaliation, the case settled at mediation for $3,200,000.
Sexual Assault / Retaliation: $750,000 Settlement.
Jane Doe was a nineteen year employee of an international overnight delivery company. One of her supervisors was known to the company to be a serial sexual harasser of his female subordinates. He frequently made lewd comments to Jane Doe which the company knew about, but ignored. One day in 2006, the supervisor cornered Jane Doe while she was in the back of her delivery truck sorting packages, pulled the rear door to the truck closed, and forcibly fondled her. The supervisor then told Jane Doe he would have her fired if she reported him. Despite her fear that she might lose the job she needed to support her family, Jane Doe did report the incident. The company, however, denied the incident had occurred and took no action against the supervisor. The assault and the company’s lack of response devastated Jane Doe and she sought extensive psychological counseling.
Jane Doe retained Emison Hullverson to hold the supervisor and company accountable. After extensive investigation and litigation, including the depositions of dozens of witnesses to the supervisor’s inappropriate behavior, Emison Hullverson successfully resolved the case for Jane Doe at mediation without the necessity of a further traumatizing trial.
Wrongful Termination / Retaliation for Reporting Unsafe Working Condition: $35,000 Settlement.
Ellsworth T. was a minimum wage employee of a sign installation company. The company had a history of violating workplace safety regulations. The company rented a boom crane for Ellsworth and his co-worker to use to hang a sign on the roof of an apartment building. Despite warnings on the crane that its use without proper training could result in death or serious injury, the company provided no training to Ellsworth or his co-worker. Once at the job site, Ellsworth’s co-worker attempted to operate the crane but he was unable to control the movement of the bucket, and dangerously raised it within feet of a power line. Ellsworth implored his co-worker to stop and called his supervisor. The supervisor demanded that Ellsworth go up in the crane to finish the job. Ellsworth refused, citing fear for his and his co-worker’s lives. The company fired Ellsworth that very afternoon.
Though the economic value of Ellsworth’s wrongful termination claim was limited by the low wages he earned before his termination, Emison Hullverson agreed to represent him because, as lawyers and members of our community, we refuse to allow an employer to endanger the lives of employees for profit or convenience. Emison Hullverson pursued a claim against the company for wrongfully terminating Ellsworth in retaliation for reporting a safety violation. The company denied liability claiming they fired Ellsworth for other reasons. After taking the depositions necessary to prove Ellsworth’s case, the company settled the matter at mediation. As a result of Ellsworth’s case, the company now knows it cannot risk the lives of its employee’s lives without being held accountable.