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“Class Counsel displayed skills beyond those that might be expected of attorneys of comparable expertise or experience.”

- Honorable Jeffrey Hamilton, Jr.

 

“The stipulated class has been adequately represented by competent class counsel from the law firm of Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.”

- Honorable Nancy W. Stock

 

“Class counsel has extensive experience in class action matters.”

- Honorable Irma E. Gonzalez

 

“If You Feel You’re Being Cheated By You’re Current Or Former  Employer This Is Law Firm For You. I Submitted An Email Too There Website  And Within A Few Short Hours I Got A Response… Its Nice To Know In Theses Troubling Times There’s A Law Firm Like Blumenthal Nordrehaug & Bhowmik That Will Stick Up For The Rights Of The Blue Collar Worker. Thanks Again ”

 

- David LaRue

 

“My experience dealing with Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik was fantastic. They understood the nature of my complaint, they had experience in dealing with similar cases and were extremely helpful and quick to respond throughout the process. I would not have wanted to go through this without having someone like AJ Bhowmik on my side.”

 

- Former Client DWalsh

 

“When I first emailed Blumenthal, Nordrehaug and Bhowmik, I did not expect a response that same day… They have been extremely responsive to my complaint and is moving forward in a timely manner.”

 

- Former Client MartinH

 

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Monday
Jun012015

Workplace Claims: Should Workers Be Paid for Mandatory “Call Ins?”

June 1, 2015 - Victoria’s Secret Stores LLC workers are raising the question of whether or not retail employees who are required to call in to see if a shift is available or not should be paid simply for the mandatory call. It’s a new type of workplace claim that will be put to the test in federal appellate court.

Plaintiffs in the putative class action lawsuit seek payment for mandatory calls in their workplace. The petition for interlocutory appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals followed a rare grant from U.S. District Judge George H. Wu to file due to what he referred to as the “novelty” of the legal question being presented.

Since the only precedent for the case is Judge Wu’s original dismissal followed by his grant to file for interlocutory appeal, the 9th Circuit holds a lot of power in their hands. They will be the deciding factor. The employment law industry will either see this new and “novel” issue nipped in the bud or they could see an entirely new and fertile area for workplace grievances leading to worker lawsuits. This case could result in a new area of claims for employees as many large chains have call in policies for their workers.

The lawsuit was filed by Mayra Casas and Julio Fernandez. The suit is based on California’s reporting time laws requiring a minimum amount of pay when an employee is required to report to work, but they aren’t needed or no work is available at the appointed time. California is one of eight states with similar reporting time laws (including New York). The California reporting time laws guarantees employees will receive up to 4 hours of pay when they report for an 8-hour shift that is cancelled, resulting in the employee being sent home without working. Up until this point, the focus has been on employees who physically report in to their workstations. Whether or not similar guarantees should be in place for call in claims is the current question.

In the current lawsuit between Victoria’s Secret Stores LLC and Casas/Fernandez, it has been pointed out that employees abiding by the retail chain store’s call in policy must arrange their entire schedule around the need to call in 2 hours prior to a potential shift. Sometimes employees are required to do so up to five times in one week. Legal representation for the plaintiffs are pointing out the difficulties this poses in regards to scheduling daycare, etc. as proof of the need for a change.  

For additional information on California workplace claims and California reporting time law, contact the southern California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.

Wednesday
May202015

Wrongful Termination Suit: Former VP Files Suit Against Blue Shield of California

May 20, 2015 - Blue Shield of California was named as the Defendant in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by a former chief technology officer (CTO). Aaron Kaufman, former CTO, claims he was fired one day prior to receiving a $450,000 bonus because he raised concerns about a costly contract. The former CTO claims that he repeatedly recommended that the insurer sign a fixed-price $1.6 million contract for a “Veritas data project”. He claims his repeated recommendations were denied by Blue Shield CIO, Michael Mathias, who instead opted in December 2014 for an open-ended $4.6 million contract through a different vendor.

Kaufman claims that at one point he was in Mathias’ office making the recommendation and that Mathias responded insisting that Kaufman leave his office and never bring up the $3 million cost savings issue again. According to Kaufman, Mathias did not provide an explanation for why he seemed beholden to the other, overpriced vendor.

Kaufman’s employment as CTO was terminated on March 11th. The company cited alleged violations of Blue Shield’s travel and expense policies. The termination was completed the day before Kaufman was due to receive his $450,000 bonus (earned as of December 31, 2014).

A spokesman for Blue Shield disagreed with the complaints made by Kaufman, but didn’t want to provide additional comments regarding the suit.

Recently, criticism that Blue Shield of California behaves like a for-profit insurer has been rampant. The group even lost their tax-exempt status. In 2014, the company posted $13.6 billion revenue. They hold over $4 billion in their reserves. A former executive, Michael Johnson, has called on Blue Shield to return about $10 billion in public assets to the state accord to recent stories in the media. The organization also faces heavy pressure to lower its premiums for Californians.

If you need additional information on wrongful termination call or email the southern California employment law experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.