Partners Darci Burrell and Leslie Levy represented a 27-year employee of the City of Emeryville after she was terminated from her job following a psychiatrist’s report that she was “unfit for duty.” The employee, who was chief union steward at the time of her termination, had challenged racial discrimination, harassment, and unfair treatment by City management throughout her career. Darci and Leslie charted new legal territory in this case by bringing a claim against the psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen Raffle, for “aiding and abetting” the City in retaliating against their client for her years of anti-discrimination advocacy on behalf of herself and others. On the eve of the jury trial, Emeryville agreed to pay an estimated $3.6 million in damages and attorney’s fees to settle the case. The settlement was a vindication for the employee and restored her good name.
Partners Sharon Vinick and Darci Burrell pursued litigation in state court on behalf of a woman earning minimum wage who had been sexually harassed, as well as assaulted, by her manager. The case settled in the mid-six figures, despite the fact that the client was an undocumented immigrant and had modest economic losses.
In a case involving a male assistant who was sexually harassed by his manager, partner Sharon Vinick negotiated a confidential settlement after a lawsuit was filed, but before discovery began.
Following the filing of a federal lawsuit, Richard D. Greenfield, a nationally known class action attorney, agreed to pay $350,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that he used his position of trust to coerce one of his clients into sexual relations while she was dependent on his representation in a complex legal matter.
Jean Hyams was on the team of attorneys that represented a corporate sales manager in her sexual harassment claims against her employer, 24 Hour Fitness. The company required their employees to sign away the right to a trial by jury as a condition of their employment, so the claims could only be brought through private arbitration. The result, a $2.4 million award, including $1.2 million in punitive damages was one of the largest awards on record for a single-plaintiff arbitration. After the arbitration, the employer tried to seal the record to keep the plaintiff from publicizing the outcome of her case. Jean Hyams and Leslie Levy fought a successful post-arbitration legal battle for the right to make the company’s misdeeds public so that other employers would learn the costly consequences of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Partners Leslie Levy and Sharon Vinick represented a long time employee of a Fortune 100 company in defamation suit litigated in Superior Court for the County of Alameda, where the employee was accused of theft. The jury returned a verdict of $778,000 in compensatory damages, and was prepared to award puntive damages. The case was resolved before arguments on punitive damages were presented to the jury.
When the Pleasanton Unified School District refused to provide reasonable accommodations for a veteran school teacher and falsely claimed that the teacher’s disabilities prevented her from performing her job, partner Leslie Levy filed suit. In the end, the school district agreed to a settlement valued at over $600,000 to redress the wrong it inflicted on […]
A Marin County jury found that Albertsons violated the civil rights of a grocery clerk by failing to deliver the reasonable accommodation it had promised. Partner Leslie Levy took the case even though it involved only a single incident of failure to accommodate because she was incensed by the way the employer violated the civil […]