News site Aljazeera turned to LVBH Attorney Hilary Hammell for comment on a trial in San Francisco where an assembly line worker alleges racism was rampant at the Tesla manufacturing plant. The article – Tesla to face racism allegations from Black worker in open court — focuses on the first hurdle many workers must overcome […]
Bloomberg covers shareholder battle against forced arbitration at Tesla
A recent Bloomberg article shined the light on an investor’s efforts to get Tesla to stop forcing its employees into arbitration in employment disputes. The automotive giant has faced multiple claims of race discrimination and the socially-responsible investor, Kristin Hull, is pushing for change through a shareholder resolution. As part of its coverage of this […]
Black workers matter, so end forced arbitration
This post, authored by LVBH’s Jean Hyams and Hilary Hammell, originally appeared as a Guest Opinion in The Washington Post. As employment lawyers who have devoted our careers to fighting discrimination in the workplace, we are heartened to see the world awaken to systemic and structural racism after the egregious killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud […]
If my employer gives me an arbitration agreement, do I have to sign it?
Over the last twenty years, it has become increasingly common for companies to require their employees to sign arbitration agreements. These agreements require that all disputes related to someone’s employment (including claims for discrimination or harassment) be resolved in private arbitration, rather than in a courtroom, which is open to members of the public. And, […]
$2.4 Million Arbitration Award for Victim of Sexual Harassment by 24 Hour Fitness
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.
Arbitration Award for Employee Terminated After Taking Medical Leave
In a case arbitrated pursuant to a mandatory employment arbitration agreement, partners Jean Hyams and Leslie Levy won a case for a woman who was terminated from her job after taking time off as medical leave. Since the termination took place as part of a major corporate reorganization and the layoff of hundreds of people, […]
Oakland Raiders Seek to Force Cheerleaders into Secret Arbitration Before NFL Commissioner; Deny Them Jury Trial in Wage Theft Case
In response to a class action lawsuit (Lacy T. v. Oakland Raiders) filed by Raiderettes alleging wage theft and other violations of California labor law, team owners have filed a motion to force the cheerleaders out of court and into individual and secret arbitration before the NFL Commissioner.
“This is an attempt to avoid public scrutiny of the adjudication of the cheerleaders’ claims that Raiders’ management has engaged in illegal employment practices for years,” said Sharon Vinick of Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams, the Bay Area law firm representing the cheerleaders. “The owners want to have this employment issue decided by one man whose pay is dependent on the very teams that engage in the illegal conduct.”
The Real Reasons Your Employer Wants Arbitration
Over the past decade, more and more employers are insisting that anyone who works for them must sign an arbitration agreement as a condition of employment. Arbitration agreements mean that employees are forced to give up their Constitutional right to trial by jury if they want to keep their job. Instead, all workplace disputes – […]
Car Dealership Faces Arbitration for Discrimination and Harassment
LVBH lawyers Jean Hyams and Rebecca Kagin represented a woman who worked in car sales in court and arbitration against a Toyota car dealership for gender and national origin discrimination and harassment. She also brought a claim that the owner of the dealership retaliated against her after she filed a complaint with the California Department […]