Updates from May, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Coane & Associates 3:43 am on May 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Angella Ayissi, , , , ,   

    Kroger Loses Motion to Dismiss Race Discrimination and Sex Harassment Lawsuit 

    In an Order released today by the U.S.District Court in Houston, The Kroger Company lost its motion for summary judgment on a race discrimination and sex harassment case.

    © AP Photo/David Koh

    The case was brought by Angella Ayissi, a long-time cashier who works at Kroger. The papers on file in her case state that Kroger management allowed an employee at their Sugar Land, Texas store to constantly say the word, “nigger” and other racially and sexually hostile words. She states that this went on for years before Kroger ever took any action.

    Lawyers for Kroger tried to get the case dismissed, but on May 29, 2012, Judge Nancy Atlas denied their motion, except for a retaliation claim, and ordered that the case proceed to jury trial at the end of July.

    Our law firm has been representing Ms. Ayissi from the outset, and we were very pleased with the judge’s 17 page Order allowing this case to be decided by the jury. Many times the judges dismiss these cases, but in this case, the judge found that Ms. Ayissi raised genuine issues of material fact and that Kroger would have to stand trial.

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    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, and, immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

     
  • Coane & Associates 6:56 pm on May 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: employer background check, ,   

    Employer Background Checks – Video by Attorney Bruce Coane 

    In this video, Attorney Bruce Coane speaks about criminal background checks that are done by employers when individuals apply for jobs. These individuals often question if they have a case when they are not hired or when they are fired because of an arrest history. Unfortunately, most states, including Texas, have no state law about criminal background checks in employment, so most of the time, they will not.

    However, this year, the EEOC came out with guidance about these checks, and how the criminal justice system affects Hispanics and blacks, in particular. As a result, it is quite possible to bring claims to court for race discrimination after a criminal background check has been conducted. Although the EEOC guidelines only references these specific races, it could apply to anybody, as the EEOC investigates complaints of discrimination based on age, race, sex, national origin, religion and disability.

    To see the EEOC Enforcement Guidance, click the link below.

    http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm

     
    • Hattie Cooper 9:14 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Employer background checks are a pain, though I think at the same time, if a background check can be done at all, why can’t it be done by an employer, who’s trying to decide whether to trust a stranger with responsibilities, property and money? Think of how differently Pride and prejudice would have gone if the Bennetts had done a background check on Mr. Wickham! (It would have gone better, is what I mean.

      • bruce.coane@gmail.com 9:47 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I agree that there is a place for background checks. Unfortunately, many big employers have a zero tolerance policy, meaning, any record whatsoever is an automatic job rejection no matter how minor or irrelevant.
        Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  • Coane & Associates 2:36 am on May 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: H-1B denials, , Request for Evidence,   

    H-1B Work Visa Denials: The Solution 

    Many foreign workers are finding it difficult to renew or obtain an H-1B working visa. Employers are also becoming frustrated at being unable to get visas for their workers. H-1B denials are becoming commonplace, as are massive RFE’s (Requests for Evidence).

    When all else fails, and that includes the hopeless appeal, I “appeal” such cases to the federal courts. Many times, such an appeal to federal court succeeds, either because the U.S. Attorney agrees to settle, or because the judge issues a favorable decision for the company and employee.

    There is no reason for employers and workers to give up and drop the case, when there is a federal judicial system, willing to exercise jurisdiction, and consider the merits of the H-1B claim.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, and, immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

     
    • Deepak 9:00 am on June 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Business Immigration Visa assists businessmen and investors (High Net-worth Individuals/HNIs), residing in any part of the world, willing to make an investment in a foreign country and at the same time wanting to obtain residency/permanent immigration of that country.

      visit http://businessimmigrationvisa.com/ for details

  • Coane & Associates 12:48 pm on May 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: airfare, other news and updates, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines   

    Half-Empty Airplane A Testament To Higher Air Fares? 

    On my United Airlines flight from Houston to Fort Lauderdale, Florida yesterday, the airplane was half-empty. The Boeing 737 plane on this route, which I fly every week, is typically always full.

    Since the merger between Continental and United started two years ago, I have noticed fares rising more and more, to the point where it has now doubled. As a result, I have had to cut back on the frequency of my travels between my offices in Houston and Miami. I have wondered when others will cut back on travel as well. I think this morning’s flight, was an example of things to come.

    If United Airlines continues to raise fares, no doubt, less people will be traveling. There was a time, a couple of years ago, where they would offer those empty seats at last-minute discounted rates. But, for whatever reason, that seems to no longer exist as well. At the same time, United reports marginal profits or loses money, and would seemingly rather fly with empty seats.

    I have also noticed over the past year to 18 months that, Southwest Airlines, which used to fly for “peanuts”, now has matching expensive airfares to most cities where United flies. And, my luck, Southwest never has the Houston to Fort Lauderdale route on sale.

    Hopefully, the spirit of capitalism will soon return to the airline industry, perhaps with new competition, and lower prices.

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    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, and, immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

     
  • Coane & Associates 6:38 am on May 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , undocumented women   

    War On Undocumented Women 

    Too bad that politics has to interfere with this important immigration law that has been on the books for almost 20 years.

    Read this article from The Huffington Post.

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    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, and, immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

     
  • Coane & Associates 3:59 am on May 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: background check, ,   

    Background Check Guidelines Issued By The EEOC 

    The EEOC has issued guidelines about criminal background checks which are causing qualified applicants to lose-out on good jobs. As a lawyer who represents workers, I applaud this guidance from the EEOC, however, it really seems to be a stretch of the law. Hopefully, Congress would take some action to limit the use of such checks, in a way that the guidance suggests. A fair employer could give the applicant the opportunity to respond, or the employer could agree that a DUI from 30 years ago really isn’t relevant to a receptionist’s job. Unfortunately, many large employers have a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to arrests.

    See Attorney Bruce Coane speak about this topic on YouTube:

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    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, and, immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

     
    • Mike S 12:34 am on May 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The EEOC’s new guidelines will have a significant impact on employers. Pre-employ attorneys and compliance experts are working to provide answers to your questions about EEOC guidance changes. Visit http://portal.pre-employ.com/eeoc-report.php to get Pre-Employ’s findings, analysis and direction on establishing best hiring practices based on the new EEOC Enforcement Guidance.

  • Coane & Associates 2:45 am on May 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: I-9 form, immigrant workers, , Waste Management facility   

    Immigrant Workers Arrested at Waste Management Facility 

    In an immigration raid last week, just a few miles from our Houston office, the Houston Chronicle reported that officials arrested 16 workers at a Waste Management facility. The company stated the workers were not their employees, but third party temporary workers.

    No doubt the company would make that argument since the law provides employer sanctions for hiring undocumented workers. Even in a situation where the employer claims the workers are independent contractors, there can be penalties if the employer knew the workers were undocumented.

    The 16 workers are from El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico. Generally, such workers are not immediately deported (unless they waive their rights), but rather they go through deportation proceedings which can take years. Moreover, if eligible, they can be awarded a green card by the immigration judge.

    The government conducts these raids from time to time and arrests individuals who appear to be foreign and undocumented. An employer is required to get I-9 forms with proof of legal status completed for all workers, including Americans, but  not for  contractors. There are serious civil and criminal penalties for violating the law.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, and, immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

     
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