Trader Joe’s Employees Petition to Form Union at Brooklyn Location

Trader Joe’s employees have petitioned to unionize a New York City supermarket, extending a recent wave of organizing at the company and within the broader U.S. retail industry.

Employees at a Brooklyn store filed Friday for a unionization election, according to the docket of the National Labor Relations Board. Workers are seeking to join Trader Joe’s United, the same fledgling, independent group that prevailed in elections this summer in Massachusetts and Minneapolis, creating the first union foothold among the company’s over 500 stores. The Brooklyn site employs around 185 workers, according to the docket.

The company, owned by Germany’s Albrecht family, has said following the prior votes that it is concerned about the impacts of unionization and already offers industry-leading compensation, but is ready to immediately begin contract talks. The union said last month that it had been contacted by workers in every state where Trader Joe’s has stores.

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Former Iowa Corrections Worker Sues Over Allegations of Wrongful Termination

A former corrections worker is taking the First Judicial District Department of Correctional Services to court, alleging she was fired for merely sharing publicly available information when co-workers were allowed to keep their jobs despite criminal convictions. According to court records, Kristen Johnson was terminated from the Women’s Center for Change in Waterloo in August 2020 after disclosing information to a client at the center about charges the father of the client’s child was facing. Her supervisors said the incident was a breach of the agency’s confidentiality policy.   Read the source article at News.law

Florida A&M Students File Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Against School

A group of Florida A&M University students sued the state’s university system Thursday claiming the historically Black university is underfunded and subject of discriminatory practices compared to other state institutions.

The federal lawsuit filed in Tallahassee claims the state is violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by engaging “in a pattern and practice of intentional discrimination … by maintaining a segregated system of higher education.”

The lawsuit said the state takes years longer to complete infrastructure improvements at FAMU than at non-historically Black schools, duplicates programs at nearby Florida State University that discourage attendance at FAMU, doesn’t provide enough resources for student recruitment and retention and doesn’t do enough to recruit and retain a diverse faculty and staff.

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Kroger Employee Files Lawsuit After Being Wounded in Tennessee Store Shooting

An employee of the Kroger supermarket chain who was wounded in a mass shooting at a Tennessee store a year ago has sued the company, claiming it failed to protect employees from the fired contractor who killed one person and hurt 14 others.

Mariko Jenkins was shot at the busy Kroger store in the Memphis suburb of Collierville, according to a federal lawsuit.

Police said UK Thang worked for a franchisee with a sushi business at the store, and he was fired on the morning of Sept. 23, 2021. Thang returned to the store later that day and shot 10 employees and five customers, police said.

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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Florida Governor Desantis on Behalf of Migrants Brought to Martha’s Vineyard

A group says it is suing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and others over what it is calling a “fraudulent and discriminatory scheme” to transport nearly 50 Venezuelan migrants from San Antonio, Texas to the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard without shelter or resources in place. The organization Lawyers for Civil Rights announced Tuesday that a federal civil rights class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of a class of affected immigrants, including the dozens flown to Martha’s Vineyard, and Alianza Americas, a network of migrant-led organizations supporting immigrants across the United States. According to Lawyers for Civil Rights, the group of migrants in San Antonio were targeted and induced to board airplanes and cross state lines under false pretenses.   Read the source article at News.law

McDonald’s Forced to Defend Against Entrepreneur Byron Allen’s $10B Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

McDonald’s Corp has been ordered by a U.S. judge to defend against media entrepreneur Byron Allen’s $10 billion lawsuit accusing the fast-food chain of “racial stereotyping” by not advertising with Black-owned media.
In a decision on Friday, U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin in Los Angeles said Allen could try to prove that McDonald’s violated federal and California civil rights laws by deeming his networks ineligible for the “vast majority” of its advertising dollars.
Allen accused McDonald’s of relegating his Entertainment Studios Networks Inc and Weather Group LLC, which owns the Weather Channel, to an “African American tier” with a separate ad agency and much smaller ad budget, depriving them of tens of millions of dollars of annual revenue.
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College Employee in Oregon Files a Disability Discrimination Lawsuit After Being Denied Accommodation

A longtime employee at Reed College filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against them after being denied the ability to work from home though the 2022 school year. Clea Taylor, who was hired at Reed College in 2010, was promoted to Co-Director of Residence Life in 2020. The court filing, obtained by KOIN 6 News, showed Taylor had stellar work reviews and compliments over the way she had done her job over the years. When the COVID pandemic hit in 2020, Taylor was among the Reed College employees who continued their jobs while working from home. Her 2021 work review described her as “a valuable and dependable member of the Student & Campus Life Team” who “created housing processes that support students and provide housing security.” She was given a raise in a letter from the president of the college on June 15, 2021.   Read source at News.law

Special Education Teacher in New Jersey Files Lawsuit, Claims He Was Passed on Promotion Due to Race

A high school teacher is suing the Hackensack public school district, alleging he was repeatedly passed over for promotions to supervisory and administrative positions because he is Black.

Rodney Lane, a special education teacher, claims in court papers the district favored white candidates over him and sometimes failed to interview him for positions even though he was more qualified than others and held a supervisor’s certificate.

When Lane complained of discrimination, district officials allegedly retaliated by reassigning him to a classroom with twice as many students and no disability accommodations for his painful foot neuropathy, states the lawsuit filed last month in Superior Court of Bergen County.   Read source at News.law

County Officials in New Hampshire Sued Over Allegations of Jail Guard’s Sexual Assault of Inmates

Grafton County officials are being sued in federal court in connection to allegations that a former jail employee sexually assaulted two inmates. Max Fournier, 24, of Vermont, faces criminal and civil charges involving alleged sexual assaults in 2019, when he was a corporal at the Grafton County House of Corrections. In court documents, investigators alleged that Fournier used his authority to coerce two female inmates into sexual acts. Because he was in a position of authority, three of the four charges are considered special felonies with enhanced penalties.   Read source at News.law 

Railroads and Workers’ Unions Reach New Tentative Agreement to Avert National Strike

Railroads and workers’ unions reached a tentative labor agreement early Thursday to avert a national rail strike that threatened to shut a major segment of the U.S. transportation network. The last-minute deal avoids massive disruptions to the flow of key goods and commodities around the country. About 40% of the nation’s long-distance trade is moved by rail. If the unions had gone on strike, more than 7,000 trains would have been idled, costing up to an estimated $2 billion per day. The deadline for an agreement was midnight Friday morning. The parties spent 20 consecutive hours negotiating before reaching a deal. Read source at News.law