Lucky Brand Files for Bankruptcy

Denim retailer Lucky Brand Dungarees has filed for bankruptcy protection, blaming its troubles in part on the coronavirus pandemic, and said it has a deal lined up to sell the company.

Lucky said it plans to close 13 stores and could shutter more during the bankruptcy process. No closures are planned in Massachusetts, where Lucky has several mall stores.

Los Angeles-based Lucky filed for Chapter 11 protection on Friday in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware.

In a court filing, chief restructuring officer Mark Renzi described a proposal to sell Lucky to buyers led by apparel retail operator SPARC Group for $140.1 million in cash and $51.5 million in credit. Lucky said the offer would preserve much or all of the company’s current network of stores.

Read the source article at CBS Boston

Employee Accuses Facebook of Racial Discrimination

A Black Facebook employee is accusing his employer of racial discrimination.

In a complaint filed Thursday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Oscar Veneszee Jr. said the social network does not give Black workers equal opportunities in their careers.

“We have a Black people problem,” Veneszee told NPR. Veneszee is a Navy veteran who recruits other veterans and people of color as part of diversity initiatives at Facebook’s infrastructure division. “We’ve set goals to increase diversity at the company, but we’ve failed to create a culture at the company that finds, grows and keeps Black people at the company.”

Veneszee, who has worked for Facebook since 2017, filed the employment discrimination charge along with Howard Winns, Jr., and Jazsmin Smith — both of whom Veneszee recruited — who said they applied to work at Facebook but had not been hired, they alleged, because they are Black. The claim, they said, was filed on behalf of “all Black Facebook employees and applicants to Facebook.”

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Las Vegas Casinos Face Lawsuit Alleging Failure to Protect Employees

The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 filed a lawsuit against MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment in order to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

The lawsuit alleges that The Signature at MGM Grand and Sadelle’s Cafe at the Bellagio, both owned by MGM Resorts International, and Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar at Harrah’s Las Vegas, owned by Caesars Entertainment, didn’t provide reasonable rules and procedures to address the spread of COVID-19. The lawsuit alleges the casinos did not shut down when they learned about positive tests from staff, did not conduct contact tracing, did not inform staff about an employee testing positive for COVID-19, and “provided workers with flatly false information about how COVID-19 spreads and what its symptoms are, in an effort to keep workers on the job and revenues flowing.”

“This lawsuit … is the just the beginning of the culinary union’s legal efforts to make sure workers are fully protected,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, secretary-treasurer for the Culinary Union.

Read the source article at Eater Vegas

Cirque du Soleil Files for Bankruptcy

Cirque du Soleil announced Monday it is filing for bankruptcy protection as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rattle the world.

The entertainment group is working to “restructure its capital structure,” according to a statement. Its application will be heard by the Superior Court of Quebec on Tuesday. Once given this initial order, it will file for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

Cirque du Soleil is an institution on the Las Vegas Strip, with its pricey, mesmerizing shows high on visitors’ vacation agendas. The company had six shows operating in major Las Vegas casino hotels when coronavirus crushed travel and closed casinos for nearly three months: “O,” “Zumanity,’” “The Beatles LOVE,” “Ka,” “Mystere,” and “Michael Jackson ONE.”

Major shows like Cirque have not reopened in Las Vegas under the state’s guidelines covering large crowds. Cirque shut down its shows in Las Vegas and across the world on March 14.

Read the source article at USA TODAY

Chesapeake Energy Becomes Largest Oil-and-Gas Bankruptcy of Pandemic

Fracking pioneer Chesapeake Energy Corporation on Sunday became the largest oil-and-gas company to file for bankruptcy protection during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chesapeake was once the nation’s No. 2 natural gas producer, thanks to early bets on fracking. Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake’s late founder and CEO, was considered one of the leaders of the shale boom that transformed the United States into the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer. But more recently, bankruptcy rumors had swirled around Chesapeake (CHK) as the company grappled with depressed energy prices, a poorly timed push into oil and a mountain of debt.

The coronavirus crisis exacerbated those challenges. Despite a recent recovery to $40 a barrel, the price of oil has fallen sharply this year because of excess supply and a sharp drop in demand caused by worldwide stay-at-home orders. Chesapeake’s share price has dropped more than 93% since January, from $172 to $11.85 as of close on Friday.

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Doctors File Lawsuit Claiming Age Discrimination

Irwin Nash was 73 years old when he filed a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Yale New Haven Hospital, the primary teaching hospital affiliated with Yale School of Medicine. At the time of the 2018 filing, Nash had worked as a pathologist at the hospital or served on the medical school faculty for 42 continuous years. The EEOC, earlier this year, charged the health system with violating the law by requiring employees to complete cognitive and eye exams to maintain hospital privileges after age 70. Nash had passed the examinations, but the lawsuit alleges that the screening requirements subjected him and others “to the stigma of being singled out because of their age.”

Nearly 150,000 US physicians age 65 or older are in active practice, accounting for 15% of the physician workforce, according to the American Medical Association. Yale is one of a number of hospitals and health systems that have implemented policies requiring physicians when they reach a certain age—typically 70, sometimes older—to undergo specialized screenings in order to continue medical practice. Aging is associated with declines in cognitive performance and other functions, and proponents of age-based screening programs say that the evaluations are needed to protect patient safety. But the policies are controversial. In addition to the EEOC complaint, at least one state legislature has voted to restrict age-based screenings of physicians. Meanwhile, some physicians argue that a test score may not adequately reflect one’s fitness to practice medicine.

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Deportation of Honduran Teen Blocked Under Coronavirus Rule

A federal court in Washington, D.C., blocked the deportation of a 16-year-old Honduran boy as part of the first legal challenge to a controversial Trump administration policy that invoked the Public Health Service Act to turn back thousands of immigrants at the southern border. 

In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order barring the entry of anyone into the country without authorization, including asylum-seekers, as the country sought to curb the spread of the coronavirus by limiting “nonessential” border crossings. The order resulted in children and adults seeking asylum being removed from the country. 

The court ruled that the CDC surpassed its authority in issuing that order and that the Trump administration violated federal laws that govern the processing of unaccompanied minors.

Read the source article at The Hill

More Women Join Workplace Sexual Harrassment Suit Against McDonalds

More women are joining the lawsuit against McDonald’s, which is accused of failing to respond to workplace sexual harassment here in mid-Michigan.

Back in November, Jenna Ries filed a lawsuit saying she was harassed and sexually assaulted during her three years as a McDonald’s employee at the Cedar Street location in Mason. “The amended complaint alleges that this McDonald’s restaurant in Mason, Michigan is a reflection of corporate culture that is toxic from the top, that permits sexual harassment of its workers to go unchecked,” one person said on behalf of the lawsuit.

Two additional workers are sharing their stories of alleged abuse, they claim was ignored by managers.

Read the source article at Lansing, Jackson, Michigan

Payless Sues Martha Stewart for $1M After Emerging from Bankruptcy

After emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Payless ShoeSource is taking Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. to court.

In an attempt to reclaim a $1 million payment it made to Martha Stewart Living prior to filing for Chapter 11 protection in February 2019, Payless filed a complaint against the brand on June 19 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. According to the complaint, Payless subsidiary Payless Finance Inc. transferred $1 million to Martha Stewart Living in January 2019 — one month before it went bankrupt. The funds were for royalties under an agreement dating back to July 2018. 

Now reorganized following its bankruptcy, Payless is asking the court to order Martha Stewart Living to repay the funds. The retailer claims it was insolvent when the transfer was made, and that Martha Stewart Living is liable to repay the $1 million under section 555 (a) of the Bankruptcy Code, which allows a trustee to recover property transferred pre-petition. Additionally, Payless claims the payment was an “avoidable transfer” under section 547(b) of the Bankruptcy Code.

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Facebook to Potentially Convert Neiman Marcus Space Following Bankruptcy

Facebook would convert Neiman Marcus’ store on the fifth through seventh floors of Related Companies’ seven-story Hudson Yards retail structure in Hudson Yards, WWD reported. A source told WWD that Neiman Marcus wants to ditch the store after it filed for bankruptcy in May and Related has been looking to get the luxury retailer out as well.

Spokespeople for Facebook and Related did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A spokesman for Neiman Marcus said in a statement that the company was evaluating its stores as part of its Chapter 11 proceedings but did not specify the fate of the Hudson Yards outpost.

Read the source article at Commercial Real Estate News