Category Archives: discrimination

Hostile work environment complaints filed against Sutter Health

Former employees of Sacramento-based Sutter Health have filed discrimination complaints with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) accusing their supervisor, Rosetta Li, of harassment and creating a hostile work environment.  Allegations include racial discrimination, racial bias, verbal abuse, and having to endure a culture of fear and intimidation.
 
Employees that complained to Sutter Health’s human resources were allegedly subjected to further harassment and a hostile work environment.  They reported being berated by coworkers and they claim that Rosetta Li subjected them to demeaning and racially insensitive comments.  These employees allege that they were often told to either quit or face termination. 
 
The complainants allege that Rosetta Li has bullied employees in an intimidating and demeaning manner in the more than 15 years that she has worked for Sutter Health.

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Virginia law firm sued for discrimination and sexual harassment following “cucumber incident”

A Vietnamese former employee at Williams Mullen, a large law firm based in Richmond, Virginia, has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against the firm, accusing it of discrimination and sexual harassment.

The lawsuit states that Robert Eicher, a partner at Williams Mullen, “repeatedly engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviors and made ethnic slurs.  Shortly after (Hanh Nguyen) Allgood’s hire, Eicher approached Allgood in her cubicle, introduced himself and asked if she was from Viet Nam. When Allgood responded in the affirmative, he then gestured toward her genital area and asked whether her vagina was horizontal or vertical.”

Robert Eicher

In what the lawsuit refers to as the “cucumber incident,” Eicher allegedly put a cucumber in his pants pocket and then hugged and pressed the cucumber up against Allgood’s thigh desipte her attempts to pull away from him.  Allgood complained to management and other employees, several of whom told her that they were also victims of the cucumber incident.

The complaint states that Eicher “often walked around the firm dressed as a doctor showing his gloves and asking female staff if they wanted to be ‘examined.’  Eicher also had several sexual relationships with employees and publicly described his sexual encounters with them.”

Douglas Nabhan, another Williams Mullen partner, often made racially derogatory comments about Allgood’s meals insinuating that she prepared her food with dog and cat meat.  Nabhan also referred to Allgood’s ex-husband as “the wet back” because he is Hispanic.

Douglas Nabhan

Allgood claims that no action was taken by the firm to address her complaints of sexual harassment.  As a result, the sexually hostile work environment allegedly became worse for Allgood.  Moreover, the firm allegedly carried out a campaign of retaliation against Allgood as a result of her complaints, and she was ultimately fired in March 2007.

This is not the first workplace bullying lawsuit that was filed by employees against Williams Mullen.  Last year, seven former and current employees filed discrimination complaints with the EEOC claiming a hostile work environment.

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Former Washington Times editor files discrimination complaint with EEOC

Richard Miniter, the former editorial page editor and vice president of opinion for the Washington Times, has filed a discrimination complaint with the EEOC against the newspaper.

Miniter alleges that he was “coerced” by company executives into attending a Unification Church religious ceremony last December that he deemed “creepy.”  The Washington Times is owned by officials of the Unification Church.

Miniter claims that he “was made to feel there was no choice” other than attending the religious ceremony if he wanted to keep his job.  He also said that Washington Times executives gave him “examples of people whose careers at the Times had grown after they converted” and became followers of the Unification Church.

Miniter, a former Wall Street Journal editorial writer and author of several books, was fired unexpectedly in September.  He also filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of age and disability discrimination while employed with the Washington Times.

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Teamsters head files sexual harassment lawsuit against union

Helen Green, president and business agent of the Las Vegas Teamsters union office, filed a lawsuit against Teamsters Local 995, Teamsters Joint Council 42 and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters for being “subjected to sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation during her employment both as President and as a business agent.”

Green alleges that her boss, Secretary/Treasurer Mike Magnani, took advantage of his position to coerce her into a sexual relationship with him.

The lawsuit claims that Magani “would use union funds to pay for the Plaintiff to travel with him around the state and nation so that he could pursue the sexual relationship. When the Plaintiff sought to break off that relationship, Magnani engaged in a concerted effort to harass and intimidate her in retaliation for her refusal to have sex with him.”

Green allegedly complained to Magnani’s supervisor, Jim Santangelo, about Magnani’s harassment.  Santangelo allegedly told Green that “if she would drop her complaint he would make sure that Magnani stopped the harassment, and if he didn’t, he would remove Magnani from his position. Despite Santangelo’s representations Magnani continued to retaliate against the Plaintiff by creating a hostile work environment and the Defendants did nothing to stop him.”

Green was also allegedly subjected to retaliation and was fired as the union’s business agent after having complained about the sexual harassment.  Green’s attorney, Richard Segerblom, said that he found it ironic that Green had to complain to Magnani’s supervisor, Jim Santangelo, who has also been accused of sexual harassment.

The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that Santangelo had resigned amid allegations that he sexually harassed a Teamsters secretary.

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Black employees file discrimination lawsuit against Harbor UCLA Medical Center

Four African-American employees have filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against Harbor UCLA Medical Center.  The employees, Zena Branson, Laverne Geh, Vickie Moore and Brenda Lee-Richardson, allege that their boss, Candyce Gray, subjected them to a hostile work environment where they suffered from harassment and were discriminated against because of their race.

The lawsuit alleges that Gray referred to African-American employees as “those people,” mocked their speech, and called them derogatory terms such as”lazy” and “uneducated.”  Candyce Gray allegedly repeatedly slammed doors in the plaintiffs’ faces and threw objects at them.

Under Candyce Gray’s supervision, other employees would refer to the African-American employees as “monkeys” and would tell them to “go back to their cages.”  Management allegedly did nothing to stop this harassment.

The lawsuit also alleges that the Harbor UCLA Medical Center disciplined African-American employees without cause, gave them lower scores on their performance evaluations, and hid promotional opportunities from black employees.

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Former Editor sues New York Post for discrimination and harassment

Sandra Guzman, an Emmy award winning journalist and former editor at the New York Post, filed a lawsuit against the newspaper for having created a racially hostile work environment and for unlawfully retaliating against Guzman after she complained about the alleged discriminatory treatment and after she publicly opposed a controversial political cartoon about US President Barack Obama.  Guzman was fired from the NY Post on September 29, 2009.

The lawsuit states that “behind the trumpeted headlines and within the four walls of the Post exists a hostile work environment where female employees and employees of color have been subjected to pervasive and systemic discrimination and/or unlawful harassment based on their gender, race, color and/or national origin.  The Post, and its parent corporation, News Corporation maintain, condone, tolerate, directly participate in and contribute to a hostile work environment.”

Guzman accused NY Post editor-in-chief Col Allan of having “actively and directly participated in the discrimination, harassment and unlawful retaliation committed against (Guzman).”  The lawsuit also states that “Allan’s repeated inappropriate and sexist comments and conduct have been widely known throughout the Company.”  For example, the lawsuit accuses Allan of showing Guzman and three other female employees pictures of a naked man on his cellphone and asking them what they thought of the picture.

The lawsuit also accuses Les Goodstein, the Senior Vice President of News Corp., of sexually harassing Guzman by repeatedly telling her that she looked “sexy” and “beautiful” and by referring to her as “Cha Cha #1.”

Guzman alleges that her numerous complaints about the workplace bullying were ignored by company management.

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Administaff and Conn-X sued by EEOC for anti-Semitic workplace bullying

The EEOC filed a lawsuit against staffing company Administaff, Inc. and Conn-X, LLC, a cable service provider in Baltimore, for subjecting Jewish employees to religious discrimination and workplace bullying.

The lawsuit claims that the two companies subjected Scott Jacobson and Joey Jacobson, who are brothers, to physical and verbal harassment and a hostile work environment because of their religion, Judaism. The victims claim that from September 2005 and continuing for several years, they were called “dirty Jew,” “dumb Jew,” and other anti-Semitic slurs by managers and coworkers.

The physical harassment included an incident in which Scott Jacobson’s work vehicle was defaced with a swastika and an incident in which he was forced into a trash dumpster for the amusement of managers, who observed the entire incident on a work surveillance camera. 

“The harassment here was cruel and callous,” said Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “The use of the swastika is an especially egregious and provocative act, and the anti-Semitic epithets and physical violence alleged here are also outrageous. The EEOC will act, and act forcefully, to rectify this kind of workplace abuse.”

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