Tesla Employees Suing Over Racist Workplace Environment

Tesla employees suing the automaker for allegedly fostering a racist factory work environment are now also pursuing sanctions against the car company.

In asking for sanctions, the workers allege Tesla and its Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton counsel have failed to comply with a court order to release the names and contact information of their co-workers who could potentially speak to the alleged racist culture at the Fremont, California, factory.

The motion for sanctions claims Tesla has knowledge of and produces employees’ contact information when it’s favorable, such as at depositions for plaintiff Demetric Di-az, whose father, Owen, also worked at the factory and is named in the suit.

Read the source article at Law.com

Boy Scouts of America Considering Bankruptcy

The Boy Scouts of America is considering filing for bankruptcy in part because insurance companies are balking at paying settlements to almost a dozen men who claim they were sexually abused as boys by a notorious scoutmaster.

Since August, the venerable organization has been battling insurers INA, which is now part of Chubb, and National Surety, which is an Allianz company, and the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co., court records show.

“We remain in disputes with some carriers and look forward to a resolution that benefits victims and helps them on their journey towards healing,” BSA spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said in a statement to NBC News.

Read the source article at NBC News

CNN Agrees to $76M Labor Settlement

CNN has agreed to pay $76 million in backpay as part of a record settlement with the federal labor board after the cable television network terminated the contracts of unionized camera operators in 2003.

The settlement is the “largest monetary remedy” in the National Labor Relations Board’s 85-year history, the agency said. The settlement will benefit more than 300 people, officials said.

“The settlement demonstrates the Board’s continued commitment to enforcing the law and ensuring employees who were treated unfairly obtain the monetary relief ordered by the Board,” General Counsel Peter B. Robb said in the statement.

The NLRB said CNN ended its contract with a unionized subcontractor, Team Video Services, and then replaced the workers with new employees “without recognizing or bargaining with the two unions that had represented the TVS employees.”

Read the source article at dtnpf.com

Settlement Reached with Walmart Over Military Discrimination Claims

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced a settlement was reached with Walmart over a discrimination claim from a Grand Junction naval reservist. 

Walmart agreed to change hiring practices to protect military members after Naval Petty Officer Third Class Lindsey Hunger filed a complaint last October, saying the Grand Junction Walmart on Rimrock Avenue unlawfully refused to hire her because of her naval reserve duties. Hunger will receive backpay as part of the deal. 

Walmart has also agreed to revise the policies to include the following language: “Walmart prohibits discrimination against individuals, including applicants, based on their military service, including required military training obligations, or membership in the uniformed services.” Walmart will also ensure that “all supervisors, managers, and administrative staff” in the Grand Junction, Colorado store at issue receive training—developed in consultation with the United States—“on the requirements of USERRA and on employees’ and service members’ rights and obligations under the statute”.

Read the source article at Grand Junction, Colorado

Two Executives Sue McDonald’s for Alleged Racial Discrimination

Two African American executives filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s alleging they were passed over for promotions, subjected to a hostile work environment and ultimately demoted due to “pervasive” racial discrimination at the Chicago-based fast food giant.

In the lawsuit, filed in Chicago federal court, Victoria Guster-Hines and Domineca Neal, who work out of the company’s Dallas office, cited a “hostile and abusive work environment” that included threats, derogatory racial comments and impediments to advancement for African Americans within the company.

McDonald’s demoted both Guster-Hines and Neal from vice president to senior director positions in July 2018 as part of a broader corporate restructuring under former CEO Steve Easterbrook, which the lawsuit alleges was a “ruthless purge” of African Americans from the ranks of its senior executives.

Read the source article at Chicago Tribune

Got Bankruptcy? Borden Dairy Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Borden Dairy, the more than 150-year-old company that first began delivering milk in bottles and built one of the nation’s most recognized brands, has filed for bankruptcy. 

The Chapter 11 filing is a major development for the company, which comes nearly two months after Dean Foods, owner of Land O’Lakes and Tuscan, filed for bankruptcy on November 20. CEO Tony Sarsam said it will be “business as usual” as Dallas-based Borden Dairy Co. reorganizes in an industry that typically says “Got Milk?”

Americans consumed 197 pounds of fluid milk per capita in 2000, but that fell below 150 for the first time in 2018 at 146 pounds, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Fluid beverage milk sales dropped to 47,672 million pounds in 2018 from 50,041 in 2015. Variations on milk are proliferating as soy, rice, almond, coconut and cashew or “milk-less milks” are chasing conventional milk.

Read the source article at forbes.com

Brockton, MA, reaches $4.7M settlement over discrimination claims

Two years after a jury sided in favor of the plaintiff, the city of Brockton is paying out a $4.7 million settlement in connection to the lawsuit won by Russell Lopes, a former applicant for a job at the Department of Public Works who claimed he was denied the position due to racially biased employment discrimination.

Mayor Moises Rodrigues said the settlement was finalized around 4:30 p.m. on Friday. In addition to damages that will be paid out to Lopes and attorney fees, Rodrigues said the settlement includes funds for an educational anti-discrimination and diversity program that will be used to train city employees.

Rodrigues, who took office by appointment following the death of former mayor Bill Carpenter, said he felt it was important to settle the case, to avoid a costly class action trial and the potentially massive damages that Lopes’ attorney was pursuing on behalf of a group of other minority applicants that he claimed also faced a discriminatory hiring process.

Two years ago, Lopes was awarded more than $4 million by a jury, which included $1.2 million in punitive damages for employment discrimination. Lopes’ attorney previously stated that members of the class included around 40 minorities who applied for city jobs, and that he hoped to get a judgment that would provide each of them $1.2 million for punitive damages for employment discrimination.

Read the source article at The Enterprise, Brockton, MA

Mercedes-Benz Recall Failures Lead to $20MSettlement

Mercedes-Benz recall failures have cost the automaker $20 million to settle federal allegations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

According to the government, Mercedes signed the settlement agreement admitting mistakes were made during the recalls of 1.4 million vehicles. 

NHTSA opened an investigation in October 2018 alleging Mercedes failed to follow regulations concerning recalls ordered in 2017. Safety regulators alleged the automaker didn’t inform customers about safety recalls within the 60-day period mandated by law. 

The government also alleged Mercedes committed other sins by failing to mail recall notices to owners in the required time periods and by failing to file proper quarterly recall reports.

Read the source article at Autobody News

Goodwill to Help People Overcome Employment Challenges

Reflecting on the work of Goodwill Industries of Tenneva Area, Inc., during 2019, Director of Corporate Communications Diana Meredith and Director of Human Capital Matt DeLozier share that creating messaging that accurately defines the concept of who they are and what they do has become an important part of their mission in our area.

“We get calls every day from people who just don’t understand what our true mission really is,” began Diana. “We help local people with employment challenges, in need of jobs and job training, which is funded from sales in our retail stores.” 

Because she gets to see exactly how people can be impacted by helping others, her role is one filled with passion, caring and concern as she works as part of the team to achieve their mission to provide employment services to those in need.

Read the source article at Kingsport Times

Bankruptcy Cases to Watch in 2020

Distress and uncertainty in corporate restructuring will persist as the new decade begins. Some of the largest headline-grabbing bankruptcies of 2019, such as PG&E Corp., Purdue Pharma LP, and Forever 21 Inc. remain unresolved and tense negotiations are still underway. PG&E Corp. is mired in a costly and complicated bankruptcy with no clear end in sight. The Northern California electricity giant filed for Chapter 11 relief in January facing an estimated $30 billion in claims related to wildfire liabilities.

Windstream Holdings Inc. remains locked in litigation with its former spinoff Uniti Group Inc. over a master lease agreement for its telecom network assets. A trial is set to take place in March 2020. Forever 21 Inc. enters the new year without creditor consensus around a Chapter 11 overhaul. The fast-fashion retailer filed for bankruptcy at the end of September after failing to reach an out-of-court agreement with its landlords and reduce its $450 million tab for annual lease payments. The company has planned to close more than 100 stores.



Read the source article at news.bloomberglaw.com