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  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 9:05 am on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Race Discrimination,   

    Race Discrimination Case Against Kroger and Use of word "Nigger" 

    I am preparing for a jury trial in Houston which starts on August 7, 2012. The case involves race discrimination against Kroger, the big supermarket chain in Houston.

    Racial Discrimination

    photo: you-can-learn-basic-employee-rights.com

    Our client claims that she was constantly called “nigger” by her white co-worker. She says that she complained to management and they rarely, if ever, took action. They let him continue working there, she alleges, because he was friends with the store manager.

    As I prepare for trial, I was discussing how many times we think the word “nigger” will be mentioned in the trial. We even talked about substituting the phrase, “the “N” word”, rather than saying the racial slur over and over again. I’ve had sex harassment and race discrimination cases where other slurs were used, and I always avoid repeating them, but rather say the “f-word” or the “b-word”.

    Wondering what my friends in the blogosphere and on FB think. Should we keep saying “nigger” throughout the trial, or should we say “the N word”, instead. Somehow I think the jury will grow tired, and maybe even offended by the constant repetition of the word “nigger”.

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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.

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    • Anonymous 1:09 am on August 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Please use “The N Word” in the courtroom. This blog is very difficult to read because I found the language offensive. If I were a juror and the attorney kept saying the word you used above I would find it difficult to be sympathetic to your cause. Good luck to you and your client.

    • Jill 3:07 am on December 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      What did you end up doing and what was the outcome. I would say it once when repeating verbatim the statement of the person who uttered it. I would refrain from using it again and use the n-word in other instances.

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:43 am on May 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Angella Ayissi, , , , Race Discrimination,   

    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 3:40 am on April 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Race Discrimination   

    Hatian Man Files EEOC Charge Against LNR Property LLC 

    Our law firm was recently hired to represent a Haitian-American man in a discrimination complaint against his former employer, LNR Property LLC. The charge of discrimination was filed with the EEOC this month, and alleges discrimination based on race, national origin and sex.

    Our client worked at LNR for over 10 years and seemed to be doing just fine. About one year ago, he got a new supervisor, and that is when he alleges the discrimination began against him because he is not Hispanic like most of his co-workers. He alleges that co-workers including his supervisor constantly spoke in Spanish and excluded him from such conversations and other work activities.

    The issue of speaking foreign languages in the work place continues to be a hot issue in discrimination cases. Our law firm is handling several cases in Miami concerning similar issues.

    In accordance with federal law, the EEOC will be conducting an investigation of our client’s complaint, after which, he can take his case to federal court.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    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 8:54 am on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Race Discrimination, Texas - New Mexico Power Company   

    Race Discrimination case at U.S.Court of Appeals 

    Today, we have oral argument before 3 judges at the U.S.Court of Appeals in New Orleans, on a race discrimination case. This is one court below the U.S.Supreme Court.

    The case is called Linda Criner vs. Texas New Mexico Power (TNMP) Company. We represent Linda Criner, an employee of TNMP, who stated in her lawsuit that she was being discriminated against because of her race. Ms. Criner is black and the evidence showed that most of her co-workers are white. Further, she alleged that she was constantly turned down for promotions within the company because of her race. Her filings with the court talked about a “good ole boy” network within the company where almost all promotions she applied for, go to white men.

    Despite the large amount of evidence filed with the U.S.District Court in Houston, the judge refused to allow Ms. Criner to have a jury trial. Instead, the judge dismissed the case completely, on the company’s motion for summary judgment.

    While such motions are common, many judges still allow the case to go to trial, in order to let the jury decide. In this case, Ms. Criner never had her day in court.

    An appeal was filed, and, in an unusual move, the U.S.Court of Appeals, granted oral argument. This is unusual because many times the court of appeals will simply read the lawyers’ briefs and make a decision without hearing oral argument.

    The case will be argued by Lauren Schlossberg of our Miami office, at the court of appeals today. Typically it takes 30-90 days to receive a decision. Ms. Criner, the alleged victim of the race discrimination plans to attend the oral argument in New Orleans, as well.

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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 2:18 pm on February 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Race Discrimination   

    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.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 6:34 pm on January 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Miami Federal Court, New Orleans, Race Discrimination   

    Depositions Continue in Carnival Cruise Lines Race Discrimination Case 

    This week, I will be in New Orleans to take a witness deposition for my client in his race discrimination case against Carnival Cruise Lines. My client was a lead singer/dancer aboard Carnival ships, and he alleges in this lawsuit that his contract was not renewed and that he was treated unfairly because of his race (black).

    In this case, the witness is a fellow performer at Carnival, and is leaving his Carnival ship in New Orleans, where it is docked, for the deposition.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    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 10:16 pm on November 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Race Discrimination   

    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.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    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 2:45 pm on September 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Civil Rights Violations, , harassment, Notice of Suit Rights, , Race Discrimination   

    Has your Civil Rights been violated in the workplace? 

    Many employees come to my office to consult with me about sexual harassment or discrimination based upon race, pregnancy, gender or age. On some occasions, the employee may still be employed by the employer.

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

    Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws (20 employees in age discrimination cases). Most labor unions and employment agencies are also covered. The laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits.

    An EEOC Charge can either be filed with the assistance and representation of counsel or by the employee on their own. If you do it on your own, the EEOC will give you the forms and guidance on how to prepare the Charge of Discrimination. Once a complaint is made to HR or the EEOC, the employer is not legally allowed to retaliate or discriminate against you for making these complaints. However, that does not always mean the employer will follow the rules so you should keep careful notes and documentation of all complaints made, to whom you made them, and any actions taken against you as a result of these complaints.

    The EEOC has a link on its website that you can use to do an online assessment of whether or not you should bring a charge with the EEOC. The link is at https://egov.eeoc.gov/eas/.

    It is important to know however that if you choose to file an EEOC Charge, you must do so within 180 days or 300 days of the claimed discrimination or harassment, so don’t wait too long to take this action. You get 300 days if your state has an agency similar to the EEOC such as in Florida, there is the Florida Commission on Human Relations (“FCHR”). You can fill out a charge in person at one of the EEOC offices or do it by mail.

    Once the EEOC Charge is filed, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency, has a staff of investigators who investigate your complaints. The employer is supposed to receive a copy of your Charge within ten days. They allow the employer an opportunity to file a formal response and generally will then ask for a reply from the employee. Sometimes, they will seek to interview the employee in person or over the telephone to get more information for their investigation. Sometimes the investigators will seek documents from the employer. Sometimes the EEOC will offer the parties to mediate the claims prior to further investigations. Keep in mind that if you choose to file an EEOC charge on your own, without an attorney, you will not have the support and guidance of an attorney to help you through this process.

    Once the EEOC completes its investigation, they will issue either a “cause determination” finding that they believed discrimination took place or will issues a “Notice of Suit Rights” which states that although they don’t believe discrimination took place, you can file a legal action against the employer if you choose to do so. If the EEOC issues a “cause” determination, they can choose to file a lawsuit on your behalf, but are not required to do so.

    Upon receipt of your Notice from the EEOC, if you are going to file a lawsuit, you must do so quickly since any Federal claims under the ADA, Title VII, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, etc must be filed within 90 days. In Florida and other states, there are also state statutes which provide you a longer time to file suit.

    In order to obtain the best results, it is often necessary to retain the services of an experienced employment law attorney as early in the case as possible. Call Coane & Associates at 713.850.0066 to schedule your consultation with our experienced attorneys who are compassionate about your rights.

     
    • Nadjia 1:40 pm on September 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve been working at Publix now for 2 years. My boss keeps harassing me about my religion (Islam) and keeps making rude comments and slurs to the point of me being uncomfortable. I’ve been researching this topic online, but haven’t found much about this topic until I ran across your article. I’d like to know more about my rights.

    • Lydia 2:34 am on May 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi I was terminated from my job and accused of possessing information with the intention of benefiting from the information for a position that i currently held. I have 27 years in human services and have never had an infraction or been dismissed. The employer dismissed me for unacceptable personal conduct. I am the only Latino on staff and I was dismissed without cause. What can I do and what are my rights? I believe that I was terminated because I am the Hispanic and also feel that my civil rights were violated.

      • bruce.coane@gmail.com 3:00 am on May 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        While each state has its own rules,what we typically do is file a complaint with the EEOC on behalf of our clients. The EEOC process is normally a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit under the federal civil rights laws. Feel free to call us if you’d like to schedule an appointment.

      • Coane & Associates 9:26 pm on March 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        We would love to help. Its never too late for justice. You can reach us at 713-850-0066

    • Robert 8:06 pm on September 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I was diagnosed with MS around 10 years ago. While I was out the head of human resources said to me if you want us to help you you have to tell us what is wrong.I was in fear of losing my job so stupidly I did.I ahve been called handicaped by store managers,other managers and had my postiion taken away.It is a long story and I am scared about what is happening now withthe illness.

    • Robert 8:09 pm on September 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I am in another bad situation and feel if I go to HR operations will do wahtever they can to get rid of me

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