1 Employment RMKB offers a broad range of employment law services. As part of the high level expertise in employment-related legal services, RMKB offers both litigation and counseling services. Compliance with Federal and State Employment Law RMKB performs comprehensive reviews of employment-related documents (job descriptions, employee classifications, offer letters, employee handbooks, etc.), employment policies and practices to ensure compliance with Federal and State law. Our goal is to minimize employee-related problems and avoid costly and time-consuming employment-related litigation. Employee/Employer Relations RMKB designs employee handbooks and individual policies and procedures. We advise on overtime issues, medical leaves of absence, particularly maternity leave and the Family and Medical Leave Act; and we handle many sexual harassment issues. We provide sexual harassment training and conduct investigation of harassment claims. Employment Litigation and Dispute Resolution RMKB has extensive experience in litigating claims for wrongful termination, discrimination (age, race, national origin, disability, sex, religion, pregnancy), harassment, retaliation complaints, allegations of violations of FMLA and CFRA, wage hour claims in both Federal and State Court. In addition to our court experience, up to and including jury trials, RMKB provides advice and representation for pending disputes with current or former employees before governmental agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the EDD, the Labor Commission and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Termination Procedures We frequently counsel in employment termination decisions made by our clients. We advise on any potential wrongful termination issues. We provide guidance to our clients for severance negotiations. RMKB has extensive experience in drafting separation agreements.
2 Representative Experience Attorneys: Lisa E. Aguiar Key Issues: Union, Wrongful Termination Venue: Stanislaus County Client Type: Defendant City Description: Represented the city in a suit against a claim for wrongful termination of a police officer. Due to the city s employment policy, the plaintiff was automatically entitled to an appeal of his discharge. The plaintiff demanded reinstatement and back pay. Result: In a binding arbitration, it was decided that the city s decision to terminate the officer was proper. No damages were awarded to the plaintiff. Attorneys: Kristina H. Chung, Todd A. Roberts Key Issues: Wrongful Termination; Disability; Discrimination; FEHA Client Type: Defendant Packaging Company Description: Defended a worldwide packaging company against a complaint filed by a former employee alleging wrongful termination, disability discrimination, and FEHA-based causes of action. Result: Prevailed on a discovery motion with sanctions awarded. Settled at mediation for nominal amount. Attorneys: Terry Anastassiou, Susan H. Handelman Key Issues: Appeal; Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict; Employment Law; Punitive Damages, California Court of Appeal Client Type: Defendant Employer Description: Represented the defendant after a jury awarded the plaintiff, the client s employee, over $1 million in damages. The plaintiff sued the defendant due to a breached I.O.U. for $75,000 owed in back commission. Post-trial motions to amend judgment, motions for new trial and motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict were filed by our firm, eliciting rulings from the trial court that eliminated two-thirds of the damages awarded. Because of these motions, the plaintiff was forced to appeal. Result: Due to the protective cross-appeal obtained for the client, the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court s reductions in damages and struck additional damages from the previous judgment. The client was only forced to pay the plaintiff for the cost of the I.O.U., a proper and dramatically reduced outcome for the lawsuit. Attorneys: Dennis J. Ward Key Issues: Wrongful Termination Venue: Alameda County Superior Court Client Type: Defendant Employer Description: The plaintiff, a regional sales manager, claimed he had been wrongfully terminated from his
3 employment in violation of an implied contractual agreement. He had been employed for about 15 years by our client. Result: Obtained a defense verdict for our client. Attorneys: Todd A. Roberts Key Issues: Sexual Harassment Venue: San Francisco County Superior Court; Hawaii Circuit Court Client Type: Worldwide Hotel Chain Description: Represented an international hotel chain in connection with allegations by their client relating to alleged inappropriate touching during spa treatment. Result: Successfully compelled dismissal of action in the San Francisco County Superior Court and awarded costs of suit. Key Issues: Sexual Orientation; Disability; Discrimination; Harassment; Retaliation; Non-Profit; Employment Venue: Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), Oakland Client Type: Defendant Non-Profit Description: Represented a social and political organization in achieving a historical settlement for a political and social change organization. The lesbian African American Director of Operations and Administration brought a DFEH claim alleging sexual orientation and disability discrimination, harassment and retaliation. She claimed that the Executive Director continuously asked her about her relationship with her lesbian African American administrative assistant, implying that they were having a romance. The claimant was placed on administrative leave with an investigation pending. Result: At mediation, the respondent organization paid the claimant nothing ($0) and she resigned her position effective on the date of the mediation. The parties agreed to a mutual release of all claims. Attorneys: Lisa E. Aguiar Key Issues: Union, Discipline Venue: Stanislaus County Client Type: City Description: Advised our client, the city, on how to properly discipline police officer who failed to respond to a call. Result: The discipline against the officer resulted in a successful resolution of the issue. Attorneys: Stephen J. Erigero Key Issues: Employment, Public Policy, Director Decisions Client Type: Defendant Corporation
4 Description: Currently defending a corporation in a suit in which the plaintiff alleges a cause of action based on alleged wrongful termination in violation of public policy. The plaintiff seeks damages for alleged unfair business practices by officers and directors of the corporate employer. Attorneys: Stephen J. Erigero Key Issues: Employment; Wrongful Termination Venue: Los Angeles County Superior Court Client Type: Defendant Telecommunications Provider Description: Currently defending a telecommunications provider in an action for wrongful termination by an employee shareholder. The terminated employee brings additional claims against the officers and directors based on the decision and the procedure that was used to terminate. Key Issues: Race Discrimination; Sex Discrimination; Employment Termination Client Type: Defendant Non-Profit Company Description: Represented a non-profit company in a race and sex discrimination claim arising from employment termination. Result: The case settled favorably for our client. Key Issues: Unruh Act Violations Client Type: Defendant Hospitality Provider Description: Represented a Four Points by Sheraton Hotel and Suites property in South San Francisco. After his stay, a wheel chair bound disabled person sued the hotel for 19 Unruh Act Violations, treble damages/penalties and attorney fees, claiming denial of full and equal access to the facilities. Result: The case settled for $8,000 plus an agreed remediation plan, which was about half of the original demand. Key Issues: Sexual Harassment; Hostile Work Environment; Gender Discrimination Venue: USDC: Central District of California Client Type: Defendant International Wallcovering Company Description: Represented the defendant, an international wallcovering company, in an action alleging sexual harassment, hostile work environment and gender discrimination. Result: The matter was resolved in a successful settlement.
5 Key Issues: Sexual Harassment; Hostile Work Environment Venue: Santa Clara County Superior Court Description: Represented the defendant, a national hotel chain, in a sexual harassment and hostile work environment action with alleged supervisor liability. Result: The case was resolved in a successful settlement. Key Issues: Race Discrimination; Sex Discrimination; Age Discrimination; Disability Discrimination; FEHA Description: Represented a national hotel chain in a Superior Court action wherein the plaintiff alleged race, age, sex and disability discrimination (FEHA) arising from the plaintiff s termination. Result: Successfully settled for our client. Key Issues: Gender Discrimination; Wrongful Termination Venue: USDC: District of Arizona Client Type: Defendant Hotel Management Company Description: Represented the defendant, a hotel management company, in a gender discrimination and wrongful termination case. Result: The case settled with summary judgment pending. Key Issues: FEHA; Labor Commission; Wrongful Termination; Race Discrimination; Unpaid Vacation Description: Represented a national hotel chain in a FEHA and Labor Commission and Department of Industrial Relations claim for wrongful termination based on race discrimination and unpaid vacation pay and overtime wages. Result: The matter settled, a favorable result for our client. Key Issues: Wrongful Termination Venue: USDC: District of Arizona
6 Client Type: Defendant Resort Hotel Description: Represented our client, a resort hotel, in a wrongful termination action in violation of public policy alleged by a food and beverage director employee of the hotel. Result: The matter was resolved and dismissed. Key Issues: Wrongful Termination; Election Code Venue: Los Angeles County Superior Court Description: Represented a Los Angeles airport hotel, which was part of a national hotel chain, in an action involving wrongful termination in violation of public policy alleged in the context of Election Code violations, and a Petition for Referendum to repeal a local ordinance pertaining to hotel transient occupancy taxes. Result: After an eleven day deposition of the plaintiff, the case resolved for a nominal amount. Key Issues: Wrongful Termination; Sexual Assault Venue: San Francisco County Superior Court Client Type: Defendant Car Dealership Description: Represented a car dealership in a wrongful termination action alleging a violation of public policy. The plaintiff claimed to be a whistleblower. Result: The case ended in a successful settlement ten days before trial after a co-employee claimed that the plaintiff sexually assaulted her. Key Issues: Sexual Harassment Client Type: Defedant Hospitality Provider Description: Represented a national hotel chain in an action brought by two cooks working in South San Francisco alleging sexual harassment by an independent contractor. Result: The case settled before trial to the satisfaction of our client. Key Issues: Assault; Battery Venue: Santa Clara County Superior Court Description: Represented a national hotel chain wherein a defendant employee demonstrated a fighting move on a co-employee, the plaintiff, and fractured his neck. The plaintiff asserted a claim for assault and battery and
7 on a co-employee, the plaintiff, and fractured his neck. The plaintiff asserted a claim for assault and battery and respondent superior liability against the employer alleging that it knew the defendant employee had a propensity for violence, and the employer ratified such behavior. Result: The plaintiff claimed that the case fell outside the worker s compensation exclusive remedy (serious and willful allegations eventually were dismissed). Attorneys: Terry Anastassiou Key Issues: Excessive damages, punitive damages Venue: Superior Court, Court of Appeal Client Type: Owner-operator of general contractor company Description: Client s post-trial motions following seven-figure verdict in case alleging breach of five-figure I.O.U. New trial granted on punitive damages for plaintiff s failure to adduce evidence of client s wealth. Client s cross-appeal of excessive and duplicative damage award. Result: Grant of new trial on punitive damages affirmed, damage award reduced to five-figure sum of disputed I.O.U. Key Issues: Sexual Harassment Venue: USDC: Northern District of California Client Type: Defendant Pharmacology Vigilance Company Description: Defended a Pharmacology vigilance company in a case in which the CFO had an intimate and sexual relationship with a business development subordinate. She sued for sexual harassment. Result: The case resolved the day before the plaintiff's deposition for a nominal amount. Attorneys: Kenneth J. Anand Key Issues: Restaurant; Wage and Hour; Overtime; Minimum Wage; FLSA; Wages Client Type: Restaurant Description: Represented numerous restaurants in the metro area in the defense of class action and individual litigation brought by current and former employees for unpaid wages, overtime, spread of hours and tips under federal and state labor laws. Attorneys: Kenneth J. Anand Key Issues: IT; Technology; Computers; Business; Client Type: Information Technology Company Description: Represented international IT company in connection with all contractual matters, including establishing foreign entities, licensing, reselling, employment of executives, and engagement of independent contractors.
8 Attorneys: Kenneth J. Anand Key Issues: airline; discrimination; private; harassment; Title VII; age; race Venue: Eastern District of New York Client Type: Private Airline Company Description: Represented private airline company in connection with a race and age discrimination lawsuit brought by former pilot. Attorneys: Kenneth J. Anand Key Issues: Fashion; Fitness; Retail; Employment; Hiring Client Type: Fashion Apparel Company Description: Represented global fashion and athletic apparel company in connection with the hiring of an executive who worked for a competitor and needed to negotiate certain non-competition and non-solicitation restrictions with the prior employer. Attorneys: Kenneth J. Anand Key Issues: Discrimination; Harassment; Title VII; EEOC; Civil Rights Description: Represented national retail store chain in the defense of employment claims for harassment, discrimination and alleged violations of other employment laws brought before both federal and state administrative agencies. Attorneys: Terry Anastassiou, Pascale Gagnon, Susan H. Handelman Key Issues: Primary Right, Statute of Limitations, Legal Malpractice Venue: Santa Barbara County, Anacapa Client Type: Attorney and Law Firm Description: Plaintiff sued the attorneys having represented her in workers' compensation matters with her past employee for legal malpractice, amongst others. She contended that they had not secured her the best settlement possible and had agreed to terms with regard to the handling of the settlement funds (trust) that were not in her best interest and leading to her not having free access to the settlement funds -- which were not proper compensation. Result: The action was dismissed at the pleading stage - following three demurrers based on the primary right doctrine applied in relation to the statute of limitation defense. Plaintiff appealed the dismissal and the appeal affirmed the trial court's decision. Attorneys: Todd A. Roberts Key Issues: Employee vs. Independent Contractor Client Type: Defendant Health Insurance Company Description: The sales agents of a health insurance company claimed they were employees despite expressly agreeing they were independent contractors.
9 Result: The case was successfully tried to a conclusion favorable to our client before the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Attorneys: Julian Pardo de Zela Key Issues: Validity of Employment Contract Venue: Arbitration Client Type: LLC Description: Represented a Limited Liability Corporation in an arbitration to determine the scope and validity of employment contracts involving a critically acclaimed motion picture. Result: An Arbitrator awarded the LLC with the rights to the copyrighted film. Key Issues: Labor Code; Appeal Venue: Worker s Compensation Appeals Board Description: Represented an employer in a Labor Code section 132(a) matter before the Worker s Compensation Appeals Board. The claimant alleged she was terminated because of a disability arising from a work related injury. Result: The matter settled favorably for our client. Key Issues: Race Discrimination; Sexual Harassment; Retaliation Venue: USDC: Eastern District of California Client Type: Defendant Correctional Treatment Provider Description: Represented a national correctional facility treatment provider and operator in a race discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation case. Result: The case successfully settled prior to trial. Key Issues: Constructive Termination; Sexual Harassment; Sexual Assault Venue: Santa Clara County Superior Court Client Type: Defendant Independent Contractor Description: Represented the defendant, an independent contractor, in a constructive termination, sexual harassment and sexual assault case involving judicial estoppel issues. Result: The key witness in the case committed suicide during discovery and the case resolved nominally thereafter in favor of our client.
10 Key Issues: Disability Discrimination; Wrongful Termination Venue: Not Filed Client Type: Plaintiff President Pharmaceutical Company Description: Advised the president of a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company in a disability discrimination and wrongful termination action. Result: The case settled prior to the filing of a lawsuit. Key Issues: Civil Rights; Discrimination; Wrongful Termination; Indian Preference Act Venue: USDC: Northern District of California Client Type: Defendant Health Care Center Description: Represented an Indian health center in a civil rights, discrimination and wrongful termination action involving the Indian Preference Act. Result: The matter was resolved in mediation to our client s satisfaction. Attorneys: Kristina H. Chung, Todd A. Roberts Key Issues: Employment; Sexual Orientation Discrimination; Hostile Work Environment Venue: Alameda County Superior Court Client Type: Defendants Software Corporation & Individuals Description: Represented a software and data management corporation and individuals in a lawsuit filed by an employee alleging discrimination and hostile work environment based on sexual orientation. Result: Obtained a settlement that was very favorable for our clients after discovery and internet research revealed information contradicting the plaintiff's contentions. We settled for approximately the amount of attorneys fees and costs. Attorneys: Kristina H. Chung, Todd A. Roberts Key Issues: Employment; Retaliation; Whistleblowing; Wrongful Termination; Breach of Contract Client Type: Plaintiff Start-Up Company Description: Represented the COO who transformed a small, private start-up medical device company to a wildly successful public corporation but was retaliated against by a founder for whistleblowing to protect corporate interests and wrongful termination. Result: The case settled prior to binding arbitration. Attorneys: Kristina H. Chung, Todd A. Roberts
11 Key Issues: Employment; Age Discrimination; Wrongful Termination Venue: Los Angeles County Superior Court Client Type: Defendant Music Corporation Description: Represented a large music corporation and individuals in an age discrimination and wrongful termination suit. Result: The case was settled after the defendants filed a summary judgment motion. Attorneys: Lisa E. Aguiar Key Issues: Discrimination, Harassment Venue: Stanislaus County Client Type: Defendant City Description: The plaintiff sued our client, the City, because of alleged racial discrimination and harassment. Plaintiff alleged that several racial comments were made toward him and that certain employees made him feel as if his life was threatened during his time working for the City. Result: The case settled the night before trial with a result favorable to our client. The plaintiff only received approximately one-fifth of the demanded $220,000 in damages. Attorneys: Kristina H. Chung, Todd A. Roberts Key Issues: Employment; Sexual Harassment, Hostile Work Environment Venue: Alameda County Superior Court Client Type: Defendant Fast Food Entity Description: Represented a fast food entity in a sexual harassment claim filed by an employee who was a minor and alleged inappropriate sexual contact by a supervisor (that was caught on restaurant surveillance camera). Result: The case settled for approximately attorneys fees and costs. A job relocation was offered to the plaintiff. Attorneys: Todd A. Roberts Key Issues: Employment; Wrongful Termination; Whistleblower Venue: JAMS Arbitration (San Mateo County Superior Court) Client Type: Defendant Chief Operating Officer Description: Represented the defendant, a chief operating officer of a publicly-traded company, in connection with allegations of wrongful termination of employment and retaliation. Result: Obtained a confidential settlement favorable for our client.
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