From Labor & Employment on Bloomberg Law
February 20, 2019
By Cynthia Harasty
Oracle Corp. was sued by a 66-year-old sales representative who alleges that despite her successful record, she was subjected to intimidation and marginalization and wrongfully fired because of her sex and age.
The lawsuit is among about 457 new labor and employment cases filed in federal courts Feb. 10-16, up slightly from 453 the previous week.
- In the Oracle lawsuit, the worker says her managers harassed her and marginalized her work. She alleges that she and the only other female application sales representatives were regularly singled out, while younger, male employees weren’t treated in a similar manner. She was so intimidated that she didn’t submit her expense reports for fear of being reprimanded, the lawsuit says. She was subjected to a performance improvement plan and would have met her sales goal had she not been fired—a number of accounts closed within 60 days after her termination and were largely because of her efforts. Oracle has been in the news of late because of other discrimination lawsuits it’s defending, including one brought by the Labor Department.
- AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals was sued by a sales specialist who says her supervisor showed disdain for her taking leave for two high-risk pregnancies and the health complications that followed. He told her that based on her medical leave issues, “you’re not going to last” and said she wasn’t eligible for a sales training position because it’s “not for people with small children,” the lawsuit says. When she complained, the company didn’t take remedial action and fired her instead. In a similar lawsuit, a former Sysco Corp. senior service desk analyst alleges that her boss denied her a team lead position and said she wasn’t a “good fit” because she has children.
- Wells Fargo Bank was accused of racial bias by a white employee who alleges that his complaint about being intimidated and harassed by a managing director was ignored by his supervisor who told him that as a white man, he can handle it on his own. The supervisor, who once told him that he himself has been bullied by white males in the past, repeatedly called him “gora”—a Hindi word used to refer to white people—and pressured him to lie to Wells Fargo’s federal regulators, he alleges. The intolerable working conditions led to his constructive discharge, the lawsuit says. Other banks are also currently facing discrimination litigation. Two weeks ago, Capital One was sued by a black former senior administrative assistant who says she was bullied, called a “damn ape,” and fired when she complained.
- Caterpillar Inc. faces a class and collective action filed by a production worker who says she worked as an Assembly III employee but was classified under Assembly II for payroll purposes, causing her to receive less pay than her male co-workers. She was demoted after complaining, she alleges. She and other production workers also weren’t paid at the proper overtime rate because the company didn’t include their nondiscretionary bonuses in their regular rate when calculating overtime, according to the lawsuit. Since 2007, Caterpillar has faced five complaints under the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Analytics.
- M&T Bank is the subject of a national origin bias lawsuit filed by a systems manager of West African descent who says his supervisor gave him poor reviews after he raised concerns about a vendor she chose for a project. The consulting firm overcharged and was late with project deliverables but wasn’t held accountable, he alleges. The supervisor ignored his recommendations and accused him of insubordination, saying, “I’ll make sure you never succeed at this bank.” She removed him from the project, stating that it was in part because of his “culture.” After he disagreed with her on another project, she fired him in retaliation, according to the lawsuit. Last month, a federal judge ruled that Whole Foods must face a Guinea-born worker’s bias and retaliation claims at trial.
- Delta Air Lines didn’t provide a reasonable accommodation for a black flight attendant’s disability, making her unable to return to work and causing her termination, the lawsuit says. During a flight, another attendant, who had made demeaning remarks about her gender and race, physically assaulted her, she alleges. She reported it to the flight captain, who did nothing and even backed him up, the lawsuit says. She developed post-traumatic stress disorder, requested that she not be put on a flight schedule with that attendant, but was denied. In another complaint filed last December, a Delta flight attendant says that even though she had been granted leave for her deep vein thrombosis, many of her sick calls were unexcused, and that she was put on probation because of her disability and age.
- Federal courts in Florida (66), New York (57), and Colorado (46) had the most new labor and employment complaints over the week.
- The busiest court was the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (46).
- No new complaints were filed in the U.S. territories.
Looking for more analytics on labor and employment complaints filed in U.S. district courts? Subscribers can click here to access Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Intelligence Center.