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  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 5:40 pm on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Pregnancy Discrimination Is Rampant Inside America’s Biggest Companies 

    Here is an interesting article from the NY Times about pregnancy discrimination and how it is rampant, particularly among large companies.

    I have been handling pregnancy discrimination cases for over 20 years, ever since I got my first case involving a waitress in College Station, Texas. In that case, the restaurant who employed my waitress client fired her when she was six months pregnant, telling her it was too dangerous for a pregnant woman to be carrying a tray full of dinner plates. They eventually paid to settle that case.

    Right now, I have a case against TDECU, where we represent a woman fired during pregnancy.  We received a Right to Sue letter from the EEOC and plan to sure TDECU for pregnancy discrimination next week.

    For further information, this Houston employment lawyer and Miami employment lawyer can be reached at 713.850.0066 or 305.538.6800, or at bruce.coane@gmail.com

     

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  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 5:11 pm on March 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #Trump, Settlement   

    Stormy Daniels and Payment from Trump’s Lawyer 

    While working out at the gym this morning, the morning news was playing on the gym’s television. I was shocked to hear the news anchor claim that a payment of $130,000 by Donald Trump‘s lawyer to Stormy Daniels was unethical.

    Lawyers are required to maintain a trust account for the purpose of holding and paying out money. I pay money from our law firm’s trust account all the time. While I am not paying “hush” money on behalf of a client, I am paying money to third parties such as Homeland Security filing fees for clients, and court filing fees for clients. In addition, large corporations have sent me settlement funds to pay my clients after my clients have signed a settlement agreement where they agree to keep the terms confidential.

    There is nothing unethical or illegal for a lawyer to pay settlement funds from their trust account to their client or to a settling party. In fact, that is the norm. Sometimes I am receiving funds from the lawyer who represents a big corporation, after my client has signed an agreement (like Stormy Daniels did) to keep the settlement terms confidential.

    In settling employment law cases, it is standard practice for the aggrieved worker to sign a settlement agreement that says they will keep it confidential and that they won’t disparage the employer. The employer often is not admitting liability, but is rather, buying their peace, in order for the legal claim or lawsuit to go away. No doubt, this is exactly what Donald Trump and his lawyer did in settling any claim brought by Ms. Daniels, or the more recent Playboy playmate who claims she signed a settlement agreement.

    In my many years of law practice, I have never had a client want to come forward and breach the confidentiality provision or non-disparagement provision of a settlement agreement. Certainly, my clients could make the same arguments as Ms. McDougal of Playboy or Stormy Daniels.

    Historically, when the courts have had these issues, they have required that the complaining party pay back the settlement funds if they now want to proceed with their legal claim. That leaves this Houston employment lawyer and Miami employment lawyer to wonder if companies will stop settling cases if it becomes easy or “fashionable” for workers to take the money and then come back and “spill the beans.” I can see clients saying that, “If Stormy Daniels and Ms. McDougal can tell their stories and keep their settlement money, why can’t I?” If this scenario becomes the norm, it may be more difficult for complaining individuals to settle their cases because a defendant would be unable to “buy their peace.”

    For further information, I can be reached at 713.850.0066 or 305.538.6800, and via email at bruce.coane@gmail.com .

     

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 2:28 am on January 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , settled cases, severance package   

    Settlement of Discrimination cases 

    I was closing out a file last night, where my client sued for sex harassment and retaliation under Title VII of the federal civil rights act. As I was closing the file, I came across some early correspondence in the case.

    The case was against a giant national company, and I had written to them before filing the lawsuit. I explained that they wrongfully fired my client and suggested that they give him a fair severance package. Their in-house company lawyer wrote back and told me my client’s case was worthless, and completely without merit, and they were within their rights to fire him. The company lawyer invited me to sue, refused mediation and offered zero to settle the case.

    Fast forward about 9 months to the end of 2011, and they are writing a check for $60,000 following mediation, to settle the case. Of course , by then, they had wasted tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer fees, and probably could have settled for much less, had they paid a reasonable severance package earlier.

    I often wonder why companies don’t do the right thing and offer to resolve employee grievances early-on. In most countries around the world, the law REQUIRES severance pay, but not in the United States. Many American companies, however, offer severance packages to terminated employees because it’s the right thing to do, and it probably serves to avoid lawsuits.

    Coane and Associates is a law firm with office in Texas and Florida, and we represent employees in all matters of employment law.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Bruce Coane is a leading lawyer with 30 years of experience in the field of immigration law and employment law. He may be reached via email at houstonlaw@aol.com or his website at Coane and Associates.

     
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