Updates from October, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 4:25 am on October 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Shintech   

    Shintech Faces EEOC Race Discrimination Charge 

    Our law firm filed a race discrimination charge against Shintech, of Freeport, Texas, on behalf of a Hispanic worker who was recently fired.

    Shintech logo

    photo: wbrz.com

    The charge is currently under investigation at the EEOC. It alleges that our client was fired, after 13 years of employment, with no warning and with no valid cause, other than he was non-white.

    It is alleged that our client and another non-white worker were both fired by the company, solely because of their race, and over a minor incident. The charge alleges that white workers who violated company rules and engaged in serious infractions were not fired, yet our client and another man were fired for a far less serious matter. The EEOC will conduct their investigation where they will determine if there is sufficient cause to support the charge of race discrimination.

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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 and Associates,PLLC 1:25 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , hair sample drug test   

    Hair Sample Drug Tests Lead to Job Termination 

    The latest rage in employment drug testing seems to be the hair sample drug test. I am seeing multiple cases every week for the past 3 months, concerning workers being fired for failing a hair sample drug test.

    photo: Bettor.com

    While I don’t claim to know any of the science behind it, I will say it’s a huge problem for workers subject to random drug testing or pre-employment screening. Many times, a job offer letter requires a pre-employment drug screen within 24-48 hours of receipt of the job offer letter.

    Few states, if any, have any laws protecting worker rights when it comes to drug screens. And, as usual, the only rights that non-union employees typically have, are rights concerning a work environment free of discrimination based on age, race, sex, national origin, religion or medical condition. If a worker cannot argue discrimination in the drug screen, then, they often have no case or legal claim against the employer..

    Our law firm represents workers in failed drug screen cases, but it is often an uphill, but not always impossible, battle.

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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 and Associates,PLLC 4:42 am on July 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mondrian Hotel, unemployment case   

    South Beach Maid Wins Unemployment 

    In a hotly contested unemployment case, our client won her unemployment against the Mondrian Hotel in South Beach.

    Our client was fired for allegedly stealing $20 from a guest room. She worked as a maid and said she thought the $20 was a tip. There was also a wallet in the room and she never touched it.

    Her actions were all on videotape because it was a “sting” operation at the hotel, due to other guests complaining of items that disappeared, according to the testimony of the hotel employees. Our client, however, honestly believed the $20, laying on the dresser, was a tip. She testified that many guests left her cash tips. And, when hotel security first confronted her, she admitted to taking the $20.

    Her unwavering story and honest belief that it was a tip, was enough to win her unemployment hearing. Generally, if there is good cause to fire an employee, they will not receive unemployment. In this case, Attorney Lauren Schlossberg of our Miami Beach office, argued that there was no good cause to fire our client, and the judge agreed.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    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 and Associates,PLLC 3:18 am on April 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Mike Childs, Raymond Wei   

    Kroger Files Motion to Dismiss Race/Sex Harassment Lawsuit 

    In a case that our law firm has been handling, the employer, Kroger, has filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to have the lawsuit dismissed. They claim that there are insufficient disputed facts to warrant a trial. The case is pending in US District Court in Houston and is set for trial this summer.

    In this case, our client filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming that a co-worker harassed her because she is black and female, by among other things, calling her a “nigger.” Store managers, Raymond Wei and Mike Childs, have signed statements on behalf of Kroger’s motion.

    Co-manager of the Kroger store (in Sugar Land, Tx), Raymond Wei, verifies that our client complained about a co-worker using curse words at her, and he notes that a customer verified our client’s complaint. Store manager Mike Childs has verified that the offending employee was disciplined at least one time, yet, his employer still seeks dismissal of the case.

    In their motion, Kroger claims that our client cannot prove sufficient facts to win, so the judge should dismiss the case. This is a common defense tactic in almost every discrimination case. Unfortunately, many times a judge will dismiss the case without the employee-victim ever getting their day in court for a trial. In this case, we plan to respond to the motion with compelling evidence, so hopefully the judge will let our client proceed to trial before a jury.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    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 and Associates,PLLC 12:44 pm on April 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Rosa Lopez   

    90 Years Old is Too Soon to Retire 

    I read a story, recently, in the Miami Herald, which reminded me about one of my clients. The story was about Sister Marie Schramko, the 95 year old assistant principal at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale. The article talked about how amazing it is that she is still working at the age of 95.

    This story reminded me of my client, Rosa Lopez, who at 92 was working as a Registered Nurse at Miami Behavioral Health Center until she was unceremoniously fired after 30 years of service, with no notice and no severance pay. Now, 93, Lopez still desires to work but has been unable to find employment.

    Lopez has filed a federal court lawsuit against Miami Behavioral Health Center, alleging discrimination based on age and disability. In particular, she alleges that her supervisor Ron Espinoza made comments to her that she needed to retire because of her advanced age and medical condition.

    While most of us can only dream of living to age 90 or beyond, it is truly amazing that these two South Florida women, have been able to continue working well-into their 90’s.

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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 and Associates,PLLC 1:45 pm on March 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Facebook Users Talk About Giving Employers Their Passwords 

    NBC-Miami interview of me regarding employers asking for Facebook passwords

    Read the full article here.

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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 and Associates,PLLC 2:19 am on March 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Facebook Password Required at Job Interview? 

    Is a prospective employee required to give their Facebook password at a job interview? Clearly an invasion of privacy? Well, believe it or not, there is no law about any of this.

    Last week, members of the U.S.Senate, asked for an investigation, but the truth is, the matter had never been addressed. Employers are always coming up with new and creative ways to fire employees, and now they have a new method to use in the hiring process. Will Congress or state legislatures stop them? I sure hope so!

    I noticed that one senator asked the EEOC to look into the matter. However, the EEOC investigates complaints of discrimination based on age, race, sex, etc., but certainly no issues involving privacy. I guess the senator was looking for some avenue, and the EEOC is about the only avenue for wronged employees. Unfortunately, the EEOC would have to make quite a stretch to link a Facebook password with unlawful discrimination against a particular group.

    It will be interesting to watch how this new area of employment law develops. No doubt, soon enough, I’ll have clients coming in with these issues.

    photo from: Forbes.com
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    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 and Associates,PLLC 2:29 pm on March 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Coane and Associates’ Client Sues Company for Overtime Pay 

    Our law firm, Coane and Associates, just recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a client for overtime pay. Our client worked at Liberty Power Corporation in South Florida, and claims that the company had him working more than 40 hours a week without any extra pay or overtime.

    In 2011, the company installed time clocks and then started paying proper overtime, but before that, they were simply paying regular hourly rates to workers. The Fair Labor Standards Act generally requires employers to pay their non-exempt workers 1.5 times their hourly rate for hours worked in excess of 40 in a week.

    Our client was also fired by the company and has a discrimination complaint pending with the EEOC. The lawsuit is filed in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    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 and Associates,PLLC 5:25 pm on February 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Employee Rights: Pregnancy Discrimination is Illegal 

    Employers and companies all have anti-discriminatory policies, unfortunately even if this is so, there are still cases where employees experience and endure this. One form of employment discrimination that does not get much publicity, is pregnancy discrimination where employers are bias over their pregnant workers, forcing them to take a leave, work shorter hours or even discharging them because of their pregnancy. My law firm, Coane and Associates, handles a few of these cases every year.

    Here is an interesting article about pregnancy discrimination : Pregnancy Discrimination in America.

    photo from: Babble.com
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    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 and Associates,PLLC 2:18 pm on February 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Depositions continue in Carnival Cruise Line Race Discrimination case 

    I took another deposition yesterday in our client’s race discrimination/retaliation case against Carnival Cruise Lines. The deposition took place at our Coane and Associates office in South Beach, not far from the Carnival headquarters in Miami.

    Today’s deposition was of the Singer Supervisor, who auditions and hires singers to perform on Carnival cruise ships. Our client, a black male, was a production singer on board the Carnival Inspiration ship. After his six month tour as lead singer, he was not offered a renewal contract. Our client alleges that he was not renewed because he is black, and in retaliation for complaining about discrimination to the EEOC.

    At today’s deposition, the supervisor said that our client is not barred from re-hire, but just isn’t at the top of his list. Our client says he isn’t at the top of the list because he is being retaliated against for complaining to the EEOC about alleged discriminatory practices. The case is set for jury trial on September 24 in federal court in Miami.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    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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