Employers get sued, settle cases and lose lawsuits everyday. Here’s a round-up of the latest unfortunate, dumb and bizarre lawsuits resolved or settled recently.
Fired for sharing porn – but they won in court
Four employees who were fired for sharing pornography over company email have been awarded nearly $1 million in an age bias ruling.
Dennis Janes and three veteran workers admitted to emailing “explicit and hardcore” pornographic videos and photos to each other. Janes said it was “all guy humor,” but the company didn’t agree — and fired the four workers.
Then they sued for age bias — and won.
How? The men’s lawyer claimed that dozens of employees were emailing porn to each other, but Janes and his three older colleagues were the only ones fired for it.
The lawyer also questioned the company’s progressive discipline policy, saying it hadn’t been applied equally, and pointed to Janes’ 11 knee operations and two knee replacements that may have contributed to the company wanting to cut ties with the 37-year veteran.
$400,000 to man fired for being gay
A medical assistant from Long Beach, CA, was recently awarded $400,000 after a jury found that his company discriminated against him for being gay.
Edward Martinez claimed he was regularly called gay slurs and was made fun of in front of customers for his sexual orientation.
Martinez complained a number of times about the behavior. In response, the Spring Family Medical Group fired him.
Domino’s franchisee out $1.3 million in FLSA suit
A Domino’s franchisee agreed to pay 61 delivery employees $1.28 million to settle a wage-and-hour lawsuit.
Non-exempt workers for a Domino’s franchisee DPNY, Inc., claimed the company:
- failed to pay minimum wage
- didn’t give staffers a lunch break
- refused to pay for work uniforms, and
- failed to pay overtime.
Employees relayed stories of working 65 hours, but only being paid for 45, or working 12 hours one day, but receiving a pay stub showing only five hours worked.
Employees involved in the suit will receive anywhere from $400 to $61,300, depending on their length of employment.