An Oakland Raiders cheerleader just filed a proposed class-action lawsuit on behalf of 40 current and former Raiderettes. She claims the Raiderettes’ contract violates both state and federal wage and hour laws -- and cheerleaders’ contracts with other NFL teams probably do, as well. She invites other dancers with similar problems to join. Twenty-six of the NFL’s 32 teams, including the Minnesota Vikings, have cheerleaders.
Rick's Cabaret International, operator of the gentlemen’s club here in Minneapolis and others nationwide, could be facing substantial liability in a class-action lawsuit brought by more than 1,900 current and former exotic dancers at its Manhattan location. Other Rick’s Cabarets had better evaluate their own policies or they could find themselves facing lawsuits, as well.
In 1998, a postal worker at a facility in Washington, D.C. filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He said that the United States Postal Service had refused to reasonably accommodate his disability, which was hearing impairment. After mediating with the EEOC, the USPS promised to provide the man with the American Sign Language interpreter he needed to do his job.
A couple of years ago, unpaid interns in the movie and media industries began making noises about whether those internships were all they were promised to be. Everyone understands that it's hard to get jobs in these popular industries and that unpaid internships are a way to get your foot in the door. After some of those interns found themselves unemployed anyway, they began to suspect that the months -- and sometimes years -- they spent sacrificing for their careers had been some kind of trick.
Last July, we discussed a class action lawsuit brought against the clothing chain Wet Seal and its parent company Arden B. because of alleged discrimination against African-American managers and sales staff because they didn't fit the "brand image." For example, one woman was told she had fired been replaced by a white employee after a visiting store executive apparently expressed that the company's brand image would be better served if the store's more visible employees were people "with blonde hair and blue eyes."
You might think it doesn't make much sense for a multinational corporation to discriminate against its top sales representatives, but corporations often make employment law decisions that don't make sense, except from a certain perspective. One of the most successful salespeople at the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Inc., has just filed a federal class action for gender discrimination, claiming that Merck's policies toward maternity leave and parenting issues forces women to choose between motherhood and success. She is seeking at least $100 million in compensation for women put in that position by Merck.
After the U.S. Supreme Court turned away a class action involving 1.5 million nationwide Wal-Mart workers in 2011, many people may have assumed that was the end of the story. The high court's ruling in Dukes v. Wal-Mart held that the size of the proposed class was too large, that the situations of the women involved were too different, and that the claims lacked enough specificity to justify the certification of the case as a class action.
In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case called AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion that the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925 supersedes state laws that had prohibited employment contracts forbidding class-action arbitration. The ruling allowed employers nationwide to force workers to sign contracts in which, not only did all disputes have to be settled through arbitration, but they couldn't bring those disputes forward as a class.
A group of African-American agents claims it can prove that between 1995 and 2005, the U.S. Secret Service engaged in race discrimination -- knowingly or unknowingly -- by using a candidate evaluation program that tended to limit the promotion of African Americans. Eight current and former agents have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, which was responsible for the program, and this week a federal judge approved their request to certify the lawsuit as a class action.
Dillard's, Inc., the department store chain that operates nearly 300 stores in 29 states, has just settled a class action lawsuit accusing it of forcing workers to reveal their private medical information if they needed to take sick time. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the class action four years ago claiming that the policy was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.