Employment Round Table

Employment Roundtable of Southern California’s 2009 Annual Conference

November 5, 2009 – The Employment Roundtable of Southern California (“ERTSC”) will hold its 2009 Annual Conference on November 5, 2009, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The address is: 404 S. Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90071. Mr. Friedman will appear on a panel discussing disability discrimination with Erica Jones, Director, Pacific Disability & Business Technical Assistance Center and prominent defense counsel Anthony J. Oncidi of Proskauer Rose LLP.

$1.5 Million Settlement

Court Preliminarily Approves $1.5 Million Settlement In Class Action Lawsuit Against U.S. Remodelers

September 25, 2009- U.S. District Court preliminarily approves $1.5 million class action settlement. To see a copy of the Court’s Notice of Class Action Settlement, Claim Form and Procedures, Exclusion Procedures, and Final Approval of Settlement Hearing, click here. If you are a current or former Sales Associate or Manager of U.S. Remodelers, Inc. (U.S. Home Services) and/or U.S. Home Systems, Inc. who was employed in California at any time between the dates of July 3, 2003 and August 24, 2009, you are a member of the class and should have received a copy of the Court’s Notice. If you have not received this document, please contact the Claims Administrator as soon as possible to request copy of this document and the Claim Form:

 U.S. Remodelers Litigation

c/o CPT Group, Inc.

16630 Aston Street

Irvine, California 92606

Toll free number: (888) 844-3063

 In order to make a claim and potentially receive a settlement award, you must complete and return the Claim Form you should have received, which must be post-marked no later than November 7, 2009. If you fail to complete and return the Claim Form within the foregoing time, you will be barred from participating in the settlement.

Sexual Harassment, Retaliation Lawsuit Filed Against PureBeauty

A former employee of PureBeauty, Inc. filed a retaliation and sexual harassment lawsuit against the beauty supply retail and salon services chain with locations throughout the U.S. The suit also names the company’s former Vice President of Sales, Brian Pearce, and celebrity hair stylist, Adam Shuman. The Los Angeles Superior Court assigned the lawsuit case number BC343315.

Stacey Stout – PureBeauty’s former manager of the company’s Southern California region – alleges that she and another female employee were sexually harassed by Mr. Shuman. PureBeauty markets and sells a product designed and manufactured by Mr. Shuman – the “Superstar” flatiron – used for straightening hair. In order to promote the product, PureBeauty arranged for Mr. Shuman to conduct product demonstrations at several of the stores in the region managed by Ms. Stout.

The complaint alleges that Shuman, during the promotional events, sexually harassed Ms. Stout and another female employee. Among other things, Ms. Stout alleges that Shuman made incessant sexual comments about sado-masochism, oral sex, and his sexual escapades at the Playboy Mansion. She also alleges that Shuman grabbed her and forcibly kissed her. The complaint also alleges that Shuman pressured one of Ms. Stout’s female subordinates to have sex with him.

Ms. Stout alleges that she complained to several high-level executives, but that no action was taken against Shuman. Instead, she alleges that the company retaliated against her and terminated her employment because she had complained. Prior to the complaints, Ms. Stout was the top performing district manager at the company. Immediately after the complaints, however, Ms. Stout alleges that the company began secretly attempting to solicit negative information about her from her subordinates. She was terminated a few months later.

Commenting about these allegations, Ms. Stout’s attorney, Gregory D. Helmer of Helmer • Friedman, LLP, said, “When an employee encounters unlawful activity at work, she must be allowed to bring those matters to the attention of her employer without fearing retaliation. We should be encouraging, not dissuading, the reporting of unlawful conduct.”

Based in Encino, PureBeauty has stores throughout California, Arizona, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, Virginia, New York and other locations.

For additional information or a PDF copy of Ms. Stout’s Complaint, contact:

Gregory D. Helmer
Helmer • Friedman, LLP
(310) 396-7714

Sexual Harassment the Epidemic: Recognition and Prevention

Sexual harassment creates confusion because it blurs the boundary between professional roles and personal relationships. The victim and/or harasser can be a woman or a man and does not have to be the opposite sex. Sexual harassment is a legal term, created for the purpose of ending maltreatment and discrimination against men and women in the workplace. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the number of sexual harassment charges increased from 6,883 in 1991 to 15,618 in 1998. The most commonly reported sexual harassment complaints are: an employee being fired or denied benefits for refusing sexual favors, an employee resigns to escape an offensive work environment, and retaliation against employees reporting unwanted sexual advances.
Sexual harassment includes use of sexist terms, comments about body parts, sexual advances, unwanted touching, gestures, taunting, sexual graffiti, and rumormongering about a coworker’s sexual identity or activity. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. Court decisions have also found that certain types of offensive visual displays in the workplace, such as pornography, can be considered sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is not only harmful, it’s costly. Prevention is the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers are encouraged to take steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring. Good policies and procedures provide an effective means for promptly and appropriately responding to sexual harassment complaints. A policy against sex discrimination, particularly one that specifically addresses sexual harassment, is an extremely important method for preventing sexual harassment. This policy should also prohibit retaliation against any person who brings an accusation of discrimination or sexual harassment or who assists with the investigation or resolution of sexual harassment. Find in depth, information and resources for both employees and employers about sexual harassment at http://www.HelmerFriedman.com.

Copyright 2009 Internet Market Consulting. All Rights Reserved.

Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Filed Against Owner of Popular Los Angeles Restaurants Sushi Roku Katana and Boa

Former employee of Los Angeles based Innovative Dining Group, Inc. (“IDG”) filed a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Laura Holycross the Company’s former Director of Catering and Special Events; alleges that she was wrongfully terminated after she complained that IDG was engaged in illegal and fraudulent conduct including: (1) charging several of its clients for non-existent services and products; (2) hiring undocumented workers so that it could pay them less than it would have to pay individuals authorized to work in the United States and that it paid its workers “under the table” so that it did not have to pay federal, state, and local taxes; (3) refusing to allow its workers to take the meal and rest periods to which they were entitled under California law; (4) instructing its employees, including Ms. Holycross, to falsify and forge legal documents and information that was to be provided to its clients, their lawyers, their security companies, and various police departments; and (5) instructing its employees not to book events that would include African-American and Persian guests.

Commenting about her lawsuit, Ms. Holycross’ attorney, Andrew H. Friedman of Venice-based Helmer Friedman, LLP said “California law clearly prohibits employers, and certainly their highest level officials, from firing an employee for complaining about illegal conduct. We look forward to vigorously representing our client and obtaining the remedies to which she is entitled under the law.”

For additional information contact:
Gregory D. Helmer
Andrew H. Friedman
Helmer Friedman LLP (310) 396-7714 www.helmerfriedman.com

Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Tatitlek Support Services, Inc.

Helmer Friedman LLP Employment Class Action Specialists and The Cowan Law Firm filed a class action lawsuit against Tatitlek for alleged unpaid wages and missed meal periods and rest breaks regarding the personnel that it provided to the Marine Corps at Twentynine Palms. Andrew H. Friedman of Helmer Friedman LLP — 310-396-7714 — invite witnesses with any information to contact us.

Nationwide Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Citibank

Nationwide Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuit
Filed Against Citibank

March 5, 2009 – Los Angeles, California — Helmer Friedman LLP filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against Citibank for alleged unpaid overtime and other alleged violations of wage and hour laws. The lawsuit alleges that Citibank failed to pay its nationwide Bank at Work Relationship Managers overtime and that it also failed to provide its California Bank at Work Relationship Managers with meal and rest periods and itemized wage statements as required by California law. Anthony Lewis of The Lewis Law Firm and Andrew Friedman of Helmer Friedman LLP invite witnesses with any information to contact us.

DirectTV Sued for Sexual Harassment

Employee files lawsuit against DirectTV for sexual harassment.

An employee of DirectTV was repeatedly subjected to the deplorable behavior of a fellow employee and upon complaining to the company on numerous occasions he was finally given an ultimatum to transfer or be fired.

Helmer Friedman L.L.P. Sexual Harassment Specialists.

In The News: Acknowledged Achievements

In the News: Acknowledged Achievements of Helmer-Friedman L.L.P.

PR News Now

Workplace Violations

The law firm of Helmer • Friedman LLP represents plaintiffs in a potential class action lawsuit against U.S. Remodelers, Inc. and its parent corporation, U.S. Home Systems, Inc. The lawsuit seeks to recover: (1) deductions that were unlawfully taken from the commissions earned by California Sales Associates from July 3, 2003, to the present time; and (2) reimbursements for expenses incurred by California Sales Associates during the same time period.

The lawsuit alleges that U.S. Remodelers unlawfully required that its California Sales Associates “insure” the company against business losses and alleged “overhead” expenses by deducting two types of losses and expenses from the employees’ earned commissions. First, the lawsuit alleges that U.S. Remodelers deducted a co-called “administration” or “permit” fee (typically in the amount of $250.00) from salespersons’ commissions. Second, the lawsuit alleges that U.S. Remodelers deducted amounts from each California Sales Associate’s commission when they under-measured the customer’s kitchen or other area to be re-faced or made other mistakes.

The lawsuit also alleges that U.S. Remodelers failed to reimburse its California Sales Associates for the expenses they incurred in the course of performing their job duties and responsibilities including, among other expenses.