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  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:21 pm on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: employment law, , , wrongful termination   

    Religious Discrimination case filed against Continental Real Estate Companies of Coral Gables 

    We recently filed an EEOC charge of employment discrimination based on religion and retaliation, against a Coral Gables company, Continental Real Estate Companies.

    The religious discrimination and retaliation charges arise out of a warning that our client got when she was first hired at the company, namely, do not discuss your Christian religious beliefs at work, according to the EEOC charge. Our client was told this, she states in the EEOC charge, by Luis Bertot, her Buddhist supervisor.

    A few months later when our client reported to Bertot about an offensive picture frame on a co-worker’s desk referencing Satan, Bertot fired her that same day, according to the EEOC charge.

    This Miami Employment Lawyer regularly files charges of discrimination with the EEOC on behalf of workers who were allegedly terminated in violation of civil rights laws. For further information, I may be reached at 305.538.6800 or bruce.coane@gmail.com.

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  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 4:56 pm on December 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , employment law, , ,   

    Pollo Tropical sued for Sex Discrimination and Retaliation-Company Claims Fired for Serving Expired Chicken 

    This has been a busy month at our law firm, filing employment discrimination lawsuits. A little over a week ago, I filed a lawsuit on behalf of my client against his former employer, Pollo Tropical. The lawsuit states that my client was discriminated against because of his sex and fired in retaliation for complaining about it.

    My client worked as a General Manager of a Pollo Tropical store in Pearland, Texas. While all seemed to be going well with his job performance and while recent store audits scored over 90%, my client states that he noticed that female managers were getting reviews and raises but he was getting neither. When he complained to Angel Cortes his District Manager and then to Chad Brown in the HR department, it is alleged that they made excuses but did not take any steps to equalize the situation.

    Instead of treating my client with the same level of fairness by giving him a review and a raise, the company, through Cortes, chose to fire him, the lawsuit alleges.  When my client asked Angel Cortes why he was fired, Cortes says it was due to policy violations, according to the lawsuit.

    When my client of this Houston Employment Lawyer and Miami Employment Lawyer confronted Mr. Brown about his termination, Brown says that he was fired “for changing the dates and labels of raw marinated expired chicken and thereby serving expired chicken to customers of Pollo Tropical,” according to the lawsuit. My client was aghast at such an allegation and denies that he did any such thing. If Pollo Tropical was serving expired chicken to its customers, my client denies having any knowledge of it, and says that the company was making up a reason to fire him in retaliation for complaining about discrimination.

    The lawsuit is pending in the U.S.District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and the first hearing will be coming up in April of 2018. A jury trial is likely to be scheduled for sometime in 2019.

    For further information, I may be reached at 713.850.0066 or 305.538.6800, or by email at bruce.coane@gmail.com

     

     

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 1:25 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: employment law, , 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 3:43 am on May 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Angella Ayissi, , employment law, , ,   

    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 and Associates,PLLC 3:59 am on May 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: background check, , employment law   

    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 and Associates,PLLC 5:03 pm on April 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: employment law, employment law cases,   

    Mediation of Employment Law Cases by Attorney Bruce Coane 

    Here is my latest video which talks about the mediation of employment law cases. It explains how mediation works and what benefit it may have for employees and employers.

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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 12:44 pm on April 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , employment law, , 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 10:16 pm on November 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , employment law,   

    Race discrimination case against Carnival Cruise Lines 

    Tomorrow, I am taking a deposition in my client’s case against Carnival Cruise Lines. My client was a lead singer aboard Carnival ships and the company refused to renew his contract at the end of 2009, and again in 2010. After he filed a complaint with the EEOC, they continued to refuse to take him back, which he believes is in retaliation for filing with the EEOC. Tomorrow’s deposition is of one of his supervisors, and a current employee of Carnival.

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    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.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 12:20 pm on April 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , employment law, , salary pay   

    Coane & Associates settled claim for overtime pay 

    A sushi chef in Miami, recently settled his claim for overtime pay. Our client had worked as a sushi chef at Yukihana Japanese Restaurant in Miami. He was paid a salary, but he was working over 40 hours a week. He never received overtime pay.

    Many workers believe that, if they receive a salary, they are prohibited from getting overtime pay. Quite simply, that is not true. In fact, even if an employee gets paid with a salary rather than an hourly wage, they could be entitled to overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a week. The key is whether the employee is administrative, professional,executive or a manager. If the employee does not work in an administrative capacity, or is not a professional, manager or executive, then he could be entitled to overtime pay.

    In some cases, it could be argued that a sushi chef or other chef supervises workers and is a manager, therefore not entitling them to overtime pay. And, that is true, that if someone works as a manager and supervises all day, then they may not be entitled to overtime pay. On the other hand, if the majority of the chef’s duties are preparation and cooking, then a case could be made that they are entitled to overtime even though they do some supervision.

    In this case, we reached a settlement with the employer, and our sushi chef client received pay for the overtime hours he worked while he was at the restaurant.

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    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.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 6:08 pm on June 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , EEOC investigation, employment law,   

    Gay Man Pursues Sexual Discrimination Claim 

    Today, my client will be participating in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigation concerning his charge of discrimination. We filed his charge with the EEOC claiming discrimination based on sex.  While normally there are no laws preventing employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, in this case, his supervisor suspected that the client was gay, kept asking questions about his family, etc, and fired him after 6 weeks on the job because he “was not the right fit,” and things were “not working well.”   The client is claiming sex discrimination, as the basis to enable the EEOC to investigate. Following today’s investigatory process, there will be the opportunity for mediation to see if there is a way to amicably resolve this case.

     
    • Allison Welsch 7:41 pm on June 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      How often does that occur in the work place?

      • Coane & Associates 12:52 pm on June 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I have had this type of issue many times, so, unfortunately, it is probably a common occurance.

    • Raj Makajanani 1:40 pm on June 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Did you case get resolved, and what was the outcome?

      • Coane & Associates 12:50 pm on June 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        The investigation at EEOC continues, and when they are done, we can take the case to court, unless the case settles, of course.

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