Committed To Your Legal Rights
Chicago, Illinois 60603
Under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA), all workers have the right to engage “concerted activity for mutual aid or protection” and “organize a union to negotiate with [their] employer concerning [their] wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.” In six states, including my home state of Illinois, the law even more explicitly protects the rights of workers to discuss their pay.
This is true whether the employers make their threats verbally or on paper and whether the consequences are firing or merely some sort of cold shoulder from management. My managers at the coffee shop seemed to understand that they weren’t allowed to fire me solely for talking about pay, but they may not have known that it is also illegal to discourage employees from discussing their pay with each other. As NYU law professor Cynthia Estlund explained to NPR, the law “means that you and your co-workers get to talk together about things that matter to you at work.” Even “a nudge from the boss saying ‘we don’t do that around here’ … is also unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act,” Estlund added.
Sexual harassment and assault are problems that no one should have to deal with in the workplace. And according to one new study, even science isn’t immune to such problems.
“The study is the most in-depth look yet at sexual harassment in science”
The paper, published in PLOS ONE, surveyed more than 600 anthropologists, archaeologists, biologists, zoologists, and other scientists about their experiences while doing fieldwork away from the university.
And the picture was disturbing — there were many experiences of sexual harassment and assault, as well as little awareness of how to report abuses.
Now, the survey was not a random sampling of researchers — so this can’t be used to extrapolate the frequency of sexual harassment. But it’s the best existing data set yet on harassment and assault within science. And the data suggests that this indeed an issue in need of closer attention.
By Riley Snyder
A former Twitter employee is suing the company, alleging that the social media giant fired him for being too old.
The lawsuit was filed by former Twitter employee Peter Taylor, who alleged he was fired last year with no warning and a month after the then-57-year-old underwent surgery to remove kidney stones.
The suit says Taylor saved Twitter millions of dollars during its data center expansion and met all performance review standards before he was fired and replaced by workers in their 20s and 30s.
Taylor, who worked as Twitter’s manager of data center deployment, said in the suit that his supervisor made “at least one critical remark” about his age during the firing. He also alleged that the company, based in San Francisco, refused to accommodate his needs after the kidney-stone surgery and assigned him additional work during his recovery process.
In a statement, Twitter said it would fight the lawsuit.
Kip Hill The Spokesman-Review
Whitman County’s longtime assessor is in federal court in Spokane this week, fighting a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by an employee.
Joe Reynolds, who has served as assessor in Whitman County since 1991, described his office as “loose” and that employees “talked nasty at times,” according to court filings. Yet Brenda Arthur, who started working for the office in 2000, says Reynolds crossed the line, touching her inappropriately and making several sexually explicit remarks during the past several years. The alleged harassment prompted Arthur to request time off and to seek medical help for physical and emotional distress.
Whitman County investigated Arthur’s harassment allegations in 2010. It was the third such complaint against Reynolds, according to court records.
By John Caniglia, The Plain Dealer on July 16, 2014 at 2:00 PM
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland has settled a federal lawsuit for an undisclosed amount of money with the families of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, who were killed after a 2012 car chase in which police officers fired 137 shots at Russell’s car, a judge said Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster said in documents that the settlement is dependent upon a judge’s approval in Cuyahoga County Probate Court, where the estates were set up to oversee any awards from the lawsuit. A probate judge would decide whether the settlement is fair and just. Nothing had been filed on it Wednesday.
“The court held a settlement conference with clients and counsel on July 14,” Polster wrote. “As a result of negotiations, the above captioned case has settled, subject to Probate Court approval.”Cleveland settles federal lawsuit with families of police chase victims Timothy Russell, Malissa Williams
By Christy Gutowski Tribune reporter 2:02 p.m. CDT, July 15, 2014
A Naperville teen who struck two pedestrians during a driver’s education class last year has been named in a recent lawsuit.
The student is accused in a DuPage County lawsuit of striking a teen and her friend last July 12, 2013 in Naperville. The suit also names the father of the motorist, since she is a minor, and Indian Prairie School District 204, which owns the vehicle involved in the accident.
According to the police report, the 15-year-old Waubonsie Valley High School student had just made a right turn when she “somehow kept pressing the gas pedal instead of the brake” and lost control.
A Kansas City woman launches the latest lawsuit against Monster Energy Drink.
Heather Felts said her husband, Shane, died after consuming about one energy drink a day for two weeks.
The drink’s manufacturer, she said, touts the energy drink as a dietary supplement when there are few to no documented health benefits.
Felts said her husband consumed Monster Energy Drinks for just two weeks.
By The Associated Press on July 13, 2014
READING, Pa. (AP) — An insurance company that was tongue-lashed in a decision last month by a Pennsylvania judge is contesting his ruling that it pay $18 million in punitive damages after a long court battle over faulty repairs to a family’s vehicle in 1996.
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. on Friday asked Berks County Judge Jeffrey K. Sprecher to reconsider a decision believed to be the largest punitive award ever handed down in Pennsylvania in a lawsuit accusing an insurer of bad faith, the Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/1nkxYqP ) reported Sunday.
Sprecher ruled in June that he agreed with Daniel and Sherri Berg that Nationwide had concealed evidence about faulty repairs to their Jeep Grand Cherokee, tried to cover up the conduct of its employees and relied on a strategy to discourage policyholder challenges in court by artificially inflating the cost of suing the company.
Actor Tracy Morgan has been released from a rehabilitation center and will continue his recovery at home, a representative for the comedian said Saturday.
The news came after Morgan filed a lawsuit against Walmart Stores Inc. over the New Jersey highway crash that left one man dead and several injured last month.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey by Morgan and three other survivors of the crash, claims Walmart was negligent when the driver of one of its tractor trailers struck Morgan’s limousine.
James McNair, 63, a comedian better known by his stage name, Jimmy Mack, died in the accident.
The lawsuit alleges that “Walmart knew or should have known” that Kevin Roper, the 35-year-old Georgia man who was driving the tractor trailer, had been awake for more than 24 consecutive hours when the crash occurred.
Roper has been charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto in the wreck. He entered a not guilty plea.
A suburban mother has filed a lawsuit claiming an elementary-school student bullied and beat up her son, a third-grader at the same Mount Prospect school.
In the lawsuit, which also identifies the boy as a plaintiff, Deveri Del Core, claims there was “continuous” bullying of her son throughout the 2013-14 school year. The lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday said the boy was hit, punched, choked, elbowed, kicked, pushed, tripped and spat on on a weekly basis by another student.
Both were third-grade students at Robert Frost Elementary School in Mount Prospect, although the two boys were in different classes.
The lawsuit also names the Wheeling-based Community Consolidated School District 21, Frost Elementary School Principal Jeffrey Brusso, and the alleged bully’s parents.
A man who was trapped in a room for more than 30 hours while trying to visit his son at Cook County Jail over the weekend is seeking surveillance footage and witness statements ahead of a potential lawsuit against the county.
Farad Polk visited the jail early Saturday evening to see his son, who shares the same name, according to the petition for discovery filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court.
His son had been transferred from the Division 11 holding area at 3015 S. Calfornia Blvd. to Division 9 — an area he’d never been to — which is on the compound of the jail at 2854 W. 31st St, according to Cara Smith, executive director of the jail.
The Associated Press 2:01 a.m. EDT July 10, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The State Highway Patrol has reached a $235,000 settlement in a lawsuit by two southwest Ohio brothers who alleged their vehicle was hit by a patrol car traveling over 95 mph while not using overhead lights or sirens.
The Ohio Court of Claims approved the settlement for the brothers Tuesday.
The city of St. Paul will pay a former police officer $60,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit she filed last year.
Sgt. Aine M. Bebeau claimed that her juvenile unit supervisor, Cmdr. Eugene Polyak, made “inappropriate sexual statements to her” at work and that department brass retaliated against her when she reported it.
She also claimed she was subjected to a hostile work environment and discrimination as a Native American woman.
Between September and November 2010, Polyak complained to Bebeau about his marital problems, told her he became aroused when thinking about her, reported on “erotic dreams” she inspired and asked her if she masturbated at work, the lawsuit said.
By Brian Bowling Friday, July 11, 2014, 11:36 a.m.
A former general manager of The Milk Shake Factory on Carson Street has settled her lawsuit claiming she was fired for refusing to discriminate against male and minority job applicants.
Denise Beloncis, 44, of Crafton Heights said in the lawsuit that her supervisor at Edward Marc Chocolatier told her to hire the “all-American girl,” which in this case meant a blonde, blue-eyed college graduate, preferably from Duquesne University.
The company fired her after three months on the job because she was hiring people who didn’t fit the criteria, the lawsuit said. The Trafford-based company denied the allegations.
By Michael Gordon
For the second time this year, the city of Charlotte has settled a lawsuit arising from a police shooting – this one involving a 15-year-old who was wounded in 2010 as he came to the aid of his injured mother.
The city will pay $115,000 to Jeffery Green. He was shot in October 2010 by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Matthew Wilson, who was responding to the stabbing of Green’s mother, Valinda Streater.
Wilson remains on the force. Green, who recovered from his injuries, is enrolled as a nursing student at Central Piedmont Community College.
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A Lafayette man has filed a federal lawsuit after a police officer pushed him over in a wheelchair.
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern Indiana on behalf of 25-year-old Nicholas Kincade on Thursday.
Kincade was in a motorized wheelchair after being in an accident. The lawsuit said in October of 2013, Lafayette Police Department officer Tom Davidson was called to investigate Kincade. He said Davidson searched his backpack without a warrant.
Two California counties and the city of Chicago, hard hit by OxyContin addiction, are suing the drug’s manufacturers. Reporter Emily Green says they’re charging that the drug-makers have contributed to an epidemic of prescription drug abuse.
By Peter Frost Tribune staff reporter 8:29 a.m. CDT, June 3, 2014
The City of Chicago has filed suit against five of the world’s largest narcotics manufacturers, accusing the companies of concealing the health risks associated with a class of potent painkillers in order to boost profits.
Filed in Cook County Circuit Court on Monday, the suit contends the drugmakers violated city ordinances and other laws against false advertising, conspiracy, insurance fraud and consumer fraud by “knowingly and aggressively” marketing opioids such as OxyContin as “rarely addictive” and touting benefits that “lacked scientific support.”
The companies named in the suit – Actavis, Endo Health Solutions Inc., the Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma LP and Teva Pharmaceutical’s Cephalon Inc. — used such deceptive marketing tactics to encourage doctors to prescribe and patients, including veterans and the elderly, to purchase more of these painkillers, leading to a rise in the “misuse and abuse” in the drugs.
Former Bears tackle Keith Van Horne is battling heart conditions and bouts of extreme dizziness. He blames team doctors for issuing excessive doses of painkillers and no warning about the risks
Three weeks ago, another lawsuit was directed at the NFL. Eight retired players were named in a class-action complaint (Marcellus Wiley was later added as a ninth) alleging that the league is responsible for fostering a culture of drug misuse that led to long-term health issues and personal losses for players over several decades. The 85-page filing details teams’ practices of distributing narcotics, anti-inflammatory drugs and local anesthetics without disclosing the possible side effects to players, as well as the teams’ encouraging excessive use and mixing of painkiller medications. The NFL has not commented publicly; Matt Matava, the Rams’ team physician and president of the NFL Physicians Society, released a statement saying he was “surprised” by the lawsuit and that “as doctors we put our players first.”
The suit naturally raised questions, including “Why now?” and “Why go after the NFL instead of individual teams?” We asked one of the named plaintiffs, Keith Van Horne, a tackle for the Chicago Bears from 1981 to 1993, for some answers.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Five men wrongfully convicted of rape and murder in the infamous “Dixmoor 5” case have agreed to settle their federal lawsuit against Illinois State Police for $40 million.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports attorneys for James Harden, Jonathan Barr, Robert Taylor, Robert Veal, and Shainne Sharp planned to formally announce the settlement agreement on Wednesday.
The men were imprisoned as teenagers after they were convicted for the 1991 rape and murder of 14-year-old Cateresa Matthews, who disappeared after leaving her grandmother’s home on Nov. 19, 1991. Her body was found weeks later in a field near Interstate 57. She had been killed by a single gunshot to the mouth.