Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams won a jury trial in Alameda County on behalf of a licensed RN, who had been employed by The Permanent Medical Group and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals for almost 20 years at the time of her termination. The nurse received excellent performance reviews, including one two months before she announced her need for leave. Her supervisors started writing her up almost immediately after she requested a medical leave, placed her on a performance improvement plan after her return from leave, and ultimately terminated her. The jury trial lasted six weeks and resulted in an jury verdict awarding over $3,000,000 in damages. For more information about this case, Metzner v. The Permanente Medical Group, et al., follow this link to the press release.
A BART employee who had complained about racial harassment by a co-worker and systemic race discrimination brought suit against his employer. Years after the case was originally filed, partners Darci Burrell and Jean Hyams were brought on to take the case to trial. With only a few months to prepare, Darci and Jean worked feverishly to muster the evidence and prepare the legal arguments that would help prove that BART should be held responsible for the retaliation and harassment suffered by its employee. The jury found in his favor on all counts, in a clear vindication of the mechanic’s rights.
Partners Jean Hyams and Darci Burrell tried a case on behalf of a woman who suffered retaliation after she complained repeatedly about sexual and racial harassment on the graveyard shift at Caltrans’ Oakland Transportation Management Center. Members of the jury wept when they rendered a unanimous verdict finding Caltrans liable for maintaining a sexually and racially hostile work environment and subjecting the plaintiff to retaliation. By obtaining a jury verdict and attorneys’ fee award in excess of $1 million, the trial team vindicated the rights of the Caltrans employee and delivered a clear message to employers about the cost of maintaining a work environment in which sexually and racially inappropriate conduct is permitted to thrive.
Partner Sharon Vinick represented an African American woman who alleged that she had been discriminated and retaliated against due to her race and gender, while she was a neurosurgery resident at UCSF. Following her termination for alleged poor performance, Sharon filed suit on her behalf, alleging claims for discrimination, retaliation, and breach of contract. After extensive litigation, the case settled on non-confidential terms.
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.
Partner Sharon Vinick represented two men who alleged that they had been demoted, and constructively terminated, after complaining that their boss repeated made racist, sexist and homophobic comments about other employees, and discriminated against employees and job applicants. The case, which was in arbitration, settled in the high six-figures.