Dodger Team Sued for Alleged Sexual Harassment

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The longtime Dodger usher, Vickie Gutierrez, is suing the team and her boss for alleged sexual harassment and backlash for reporting the behavior. The 72-year old claims that the situation has negatively affected her health.

Gutierrez filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court naming defendants Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, Los Angeles Dodgers Holding Co. LLC and Shahram Ariane and seeking unspecified damages. According to Gutierrez's claims, Ariane was the 'Dodger's executive in charge of security for the stadium and Dodger management.

Violations Cited in the Complaint Include:

•       Retaliation: one of the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination as well as one of the most common discrimination findings.

•       Sexual Battery: Unwanted contact with an intimate part of the body for sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse.

•       Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

•       Sexual Discrimination: Sex or gender discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of their sex.

•       Hostile Work Environment: When discriminatory behavior in the workplace creates an environment that makes it difficult or uncomfortable for another person to complete their job duties.

•       Failure to Take Appropriate Preventive or Corrective Action: When a company or superior fails to make improvements to an 'organization's processes after a complaint is made to eliminate the cause of inappropriate behavior or undesirable situations.

•       Violation of State Business and Professional Code: The business and professional codes regulate business operation in California.

If you have been the victim of discrimination or harassment in the workplace, please 'don't hesitate. Get in touch with the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP today so we can help you protect your rights on the job.

Harassment and Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against America’s Funniest Home Videos Producers

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America’s Funniest Home Videos’ production company is currently facing a lawsuit including a wide range of allegations including gender violence, racial discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and more. The class action was filed on March 19th in Los Angeles Superior Court by three anonymous women cited only as Jane Roes 1, 2, and 3. The class action was filed on behalf of “all other aggrieved employees” naming Vin Di Bona Entertainment, Fish Bowl Worldwide Media, and individual employees as Defendants.

The lawsuit alleges that the company did not take appropriate action in response to the behavior of Philip Shafran, Roe 1’s supervisor. Roe 1, a black female employee employed at the time as a senior manager in the company’s digital unit, alleges systemic racial bias and ostracism by white supervisors running meetings. Another supervisor at the company allegedly called out Roe 1 from the podium during an industry fundraiser referring to her as a “crack whore” and encouraging her to stop “doing blow” in the bathroom.

Allegations of sexual harassment were also made in the lawsuit. Shafran allegedly sexually harassed Roe 2 while she played a virtual reality game in his office by taking unauthorized photos of her, including photos up her skirt. Investigations into the matter were inadequate and other supervisors at the company were heard to say that Roe 2 just needed to get over it. Months later, Roe 2 filed a police report regarding the situation and Roe 3 told another supervisor she struggled to work alongside Shafran due to what he had done to Roe 2. According the suit, Roe 3 was called into a meeting shortly thereafter in which she was advised it was not nice to spread rumors and they didn’t see a solution to the problem as she was going to be in meetings and Shafran was going to be in meetings.

Roes 2 and 3 advised VDB that they felt unsafe in the workplace. They also told the company that they had no choice but to resign under the circumstances. Both were advised that one supervisor did not want them coming back to the office. They went home early on October 2, 2018 and were told to return before work hours the next day to collect their things. They were also advised not to speak to anyone. The two were terminated on October 3, 2018.

Once the Roes obtained legal counsel and filed a lawsuit, Shafran was placed on administrative leave while the company conducts an “investigation” into the situation. The suit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages as well as new policies at the company regarding investigation of sexual misconduct and/or assault of employees, immediate cessation of retaliation against employees reporting inappropriate and/or unlawful actions in the workplace, and appropriate action taken against the main perpetrator, Shafran.

If you have experienced discrimination or harassment in the workplace and you need to file a California discrimination and harassment lawsuit, please get in touch with one of the experienced employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.

Discrimination Case Filed by Ex-Wilson Elser Attorney

Jodi Ritter, a former nonequity partner of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker sued the firm with claims that she was subjected to harassment and discrimination for her choice to have children. She left the firm in late 2012.

Ritter described the state at the firm by stating, “By contrast, women who did not have children and who availed themselves of affairs with partners were systematically rewarded and treated better than women who chose to have children and families.”

The firm, in response to the claims made in the suit, said that the allegations were baseless and lacking in any legal merit. They advised that they would be vigorously defending themselves and they were looking forward to the adjudication of the matter. The firm filed Motion to Dismiss on Friday claiming that claims are wholly without merit and precluded by the arbitration clause of her partnership agreement.  

Ritter spent five years as a special narcotics prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office before joining Wilson Elser in 1997. She stated that she didn’t have any problem meeting her billable hour quota and that she received bonuses and raises consistently until she became pregnant. Ritter announced her pregnancy in 2002. The chair of the firm’s labor and employment litigation practice, Ricki Roer, allegedly pulled Ritter aside and said, “That’s why women can’t move up in this firm.” Roer continued to explain that getting pregnant could have a negative impact on any attempt Ritter had to move up as a female in the Wilson Elser firm. Roer continued by saying that women who do get pregnant in the workforce make it harder for women who want to make a career because it makes women look weak.

Ritter gave birth to twins in January 2003. After three months of maternity leave Ritter’s twins were still in intensive care. She requested additional time. She was advised that her job could not be held if she could not return after the three months. Ritter said she had to get permission to spend one more month with her twins from the regional managing partner. In May of 2003, Ritter was required to attend a Women’s Bar Association event. Her twins were having health issues. After four hours, she asked a partner at the table, Jerold Ruderman, if she could leave to care for her sick children. She claims he said no and that she couldn’t leave an empty seat at the table where Mr. Ruderman’s wife (a sitting judge) was seated.

Ritter was transferred to the firm’s White Plains office approximately one year after her children were born.

Ritter also claims:


  • Roer was known to rebuff women’s requests for childcare accommodations.
  • When her husband became ill, the firm’s only concern was her ability to maintain her billable hours.
  • Women in the firm who made themselves available to male partners were protected.


Upon her firing in December 2012, Ritter was told that the firm had too little work to sustain her position. She argued that she had a number of open cases as well as a number of clients preparing to send her more work. At that time she had billed 1,930 hours. She was one week away from billing 1,950 hours. And her average billing from years past was 2,000 hours per year.

Ritter filed suit because, she claims, the firm affected her ability to further he career. She worked there for more than 16 years. As Ritter’s attorney said, “She gave her life there.” Ritter is seeking damages based on lost wages and pain and suffering as well as punitive damages.

For more information on discrimination in the workplace or wrongful termination please contact the southern California employment law experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.