1. Articles in category: Consumer Law

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    1. Lawsuit Alleges Wendy's Franchisee Spent $1M PPP Funding Building Home

      Lawsuit Alleges Wendy's Franchisee Spent $1M PPP Funding Building Home

      Sandi Adler, a former employee of Starboard Group, which happens to be a large Wendy’s operator, has spilled all the tea regarding the franchisee’s chief executive, who she claims diverted $1 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans to foot the bill for his mansion in Montana.

      Adler, who served as Starboard’s vice president of legal affairs and human resources before being fired on June 1st for complaining about the bogus practices, filed the complaint on June 30th in Broward County under Florida’s whistleblower statute. In her complaint, she alleges that Starboard was granted about $9 million in PPP loans to be used for operations of their 101 Wendy’s locations across seven states. They also oversee ...

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      Mentions: Florida
    2. Mother Sues Ex-Employer After Fired Over Kids Disrupting At-Home Meeting

      Mother Sues Ex-Employer After Fired Over Kids Disrupting At-Home Meeting

      “Her childcare options evaporated overnight.” It happened to thousands of families when the state of California forced everyone to stay home as the coronavirus crept into town.

      It happened to Drisana Rios. The mother of two was an account executive with insurance firm HUB International in San Diego. In March, she was sent home to work alongside a needy 1-year-old and 4-year-old. “It was a little crazy and wild for all of us,” said Daphne Delvaux.

      Delvaux is an employment attorney with the Gruenberg Law firm. She filed a lawsuit on behalf of Rios who was recently terminated by HUB International. According to the lawsuit, Rios said she was admonished for her children being too loud during conference calls. “As ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    3. Brooks Brothers Files for Bankruptcy

      Brooks Brothers Files for Bankruptcy

      Even if workers could head to the office right now, chances are they wouldn’t be wearing a Brooks Brothers suit. The 200-plus-year-old retailer best known for what would now be considered formal office attire has filed for bankruptcy, falling victim to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has shuttered stores and stymied retail, and changing styles.

      Brooks Brothers had fallen on rough times even before the pandemic, announcing last year that it would explore its strategic options. It now has a $75 million debtor-in-possession loan and there is interest from a potential buyer, Barneys New York owner Authentic Brands LLC, according to The Wall Street Journal.

      Brooks Brothers has tried to inject some freshness and a more laid-back vibe into its ...

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      Mentions: featured
    4. Transgender Ex-Employee Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against Dunkin Donuts Franchisee

      Transgender Ex-Employee Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against Dunkin Donuts Franchisee

      A Westbrook resident who identifies as a transgender man his filed a federal lawsuit against his former employer, Cafua Management, a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee, saying he was  harassed and fired in retaliation from his job at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Scarborough. According to Kye Hubbard’s attorney, it’s the first case in Maine to cite new Civil Rights protections since a June 15, 2020 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

      Hubbard has filed a claim in U.S. District Court in Portland against Cafua Management and its subsidiary, Exit 42 Donuts, which owns the franchise at 284 Payne Road. According to the complaint, Cafua Management is the largest Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner in the United States, owning “hundreds ...
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      Mentions: Civil Rights
    5. Johnny Depp Testifies Against Ex-Wife in Court

      Johnny Depp Testifies Against Ex-Wife in Court

      On Tuesday, the actor, 57, took the stand at a U.K. libel court case, in which Depp is suing The Sun after the tabloid ran an April 2018 headline calling him a "wife beater." Heard, 34, previously alleged that Depp had been abusive during their 15-month marriage, a claim he has since denied, claiming that he was the victim of domestic violence in their relationship. (Heard's lawyer Eric George denied the allegations against the actress, saying in a statement obtained by PEOPLE, "The evidence in this case is clear: Johnny Depp repeatedly beat Amber Heard.")

      “The increasingly desperate attempts by Mr. Depp and his enablers to revive his career by initiating baseless litigation against so many people once ...
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    6. Oracle Hit With Harsh Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

      Oracle Hit With Harsh Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

      Oracle talks the diversity talk but doesn’t walk the walk, and that’s hurting the company, a lawsuit claims.

      “A sign advising applicants ‘Blacks Need Not Apply’ might as well hang at the entrance to the company’s headquarters,” the suit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco against the Redwood City software titan alleges.

      The legal action by a shareholder against the company and its board of directors cites a 2019 regulatory filing by Oracle that says, “Diversity and inclusion in our workforce starts at the top.” The suit includes names and photos of the company’s 14 board members.

      “Oracle’s board, which has no Black individuals, has consciously failed to carry out Oracle’s ...

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    7. ICE Announces International Students Must Leave if School Goes Online-Only

      ICE Announces International Students Must Leave if School Goes Online-Only

      The government announced Monday that international students will not be allowed to stay in the country if the institution in which they're enrolled is holding online-only courses this fall, and those failing to comply with the rules will risk deportation.

      Students on F-1 and M-1 visas who face such a situation "must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status," the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said in a news release.

      Those who violate the rules "may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings," the agency said.

      The news comes as some colleges and universities, including Harvard, have announced they ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    8. Photographer Sues for Right to Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples

      Photographer Sues for Right to Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples

      A photographer in Norfolk, Va., has filed a preemptive lawsuit against the state’s new LGBTQ+ rights law, saying it would force him to go against his Christian beliefs by serving same-sex weddings.

      The Virginia Values Act, which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, public and private employment, public accommodations, and access to credit, went into effect last Wednesday. The photographer’s business would be considered a public accommodation.

      The photographer, Chris Herring, filed suit Tuesday in federal court in Virginia, one day before the law came into force, The Virginian-Pilot reports. He’s represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has served numerous anti-LGBTQ+ clients, including the Colorado baker who won a qualified victory ...

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    9. Lucky Brand Files for Bankruptcy

      Lucky Brand Files for Bankruptcy

      Denim retailer Lucky Brand Dungarees has filed for bankruptcy protection, blaming its troubles in part on the coronavirus pandemic, and said it has a deal lined up to sell the company.

      Lucky said it plans to close 13 stores and could shutter more during the bankruptcy process. No closures are planned in Massachusetts, where Lucky has several mall stores.

      Los Angeles-based Lucky filed for Chapter 11 protection on Friday in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware.

      In a court filing, chief restructuring officer Mark Renzi described a proposal to sell Lucky to buyers led by apparel retail operator SPARC Group for $140.1 million in cash and $51.5 million in credit. Lucky said the offer would preserve much or all ...

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    10. Family Sues Nike for Alleged Racial Discrimination

      Family Sues Nike for Alleged Racial Discrimination

      A Black family that alleges they were racially profiled and wrongly accused of shoplifting by a manager at Nike's Santa Monica store filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Saturday against the athletic apparel company and the former employee.

      Joel Stallworth and wife TaMiya Dickerson contend they were accused by white store manager Wendy Magee of stealing a $12 child's basketball on July 5, 2019, from the Nike store on the Third Street Promenade. Dickerson posted a video on Facebook shortly afterward, showing their infant son Samuel holding the ball in the store. It also shows a copy of the receipt from their purchase of the ball.

      A message to Nike seeking comment was not immediately answered, but after ...

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    11. Disney Wins Case Over FastPass Access

      Disney Wins Case Over FastPass Access

      Six years after first being sued over its Disability Access Service Card policy, Disney has officially won the case in federal court. A judge ruled the Mouse House does not have to grant immediate or unlimited access to rides at its theme parks. Instead, Disney’s preferred alternative of giving those with disabilities return times is acceptable.

      The lawsuit was filed back in 2014 by Donna Lorman. She’s the head of the Autism Society of Greater Orlando, and she’s the mother of an adult son with autism. Lorman reportedly asked for 10 FastPasses to enter Magic Kingdom rides without having to wait in line. She said her son has troubles understanding the concept of time. Disney pushed back ...

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    12. Employee Accuses Facebook of Racial Discrimination

      Employee Accuses Facebook of Racial Discrimination

      A Black Facebook employee is accusing his employer of racial discrimination.

      In a complaint filed Thursday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Oscar Veneszee Jr. said the social network does not give Black workers equal opportunities in their careers.

      "We have a Black people problem," Veneszee told NPR. Veneszee is a Navy veteran who recruits other veterans and people of color as part of diversity initiatives at Facebook's infrastructure division. "We've set goals to increase diversity at the company, but we've failed to create a culture at the company that finds, grows and keeps Black people at the company."

      Veneszee, who has worked for Facebook since 2017, filed the employment discrimination charge along with Howard Winns, Jr ...

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    13. Largest Pizza Hut Franchisee Files for Bankruptcy

      Largest Pizza Hut Franchisee Files for Bankruptcy

      The world's largest Pizza Hut franchisee filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday. In its filing, Leawood-based NPC International Inc. listed estimated assets ranging from $1 billion to $10 billion and estimated liabilities in the same range. 

      NPC operates 1,227 Pizza Hut restaurants in 27 states, representing about 20% of the domestic Pizza Hut system. It's also The Wendy's Co.'s (Nasdaq: WEN) largest franchisee, with 393 restaurants in eight states.

      One of NPC's hurdles has been Pizza Hut's performance in recent years, which created a "significant drag on profitability due to a lack of sales growth and a significant inflationary cost environment," the filing said. In addition to a drop in foot traffic and ...

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    14. Cisco Faces Employee Discrimination Lawsuit

      Cisco Faces Employee Discrimination Lawsuit

      California regulators sued Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) on Tuesday, accusing it of discriminating against an Indian-American employee and allowing him to be harassed by two managers because he was from a lower Indian caste than them.

      U.S. employment law does not specifically bar caste-based discrimination, but California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing contends in the lawsuit that the Hindu faith’s lingering caste system is based on protected classes such as religion.

      The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Jose, does not name the alleged victim. It states he has been a principal engineer at Cisco’s San Jose headquarters since October 2015 and that he was born at the bottom of caste hierarchy as ...

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    15. Las Vegas Casinos Face Lawsuit Alleging Failure to Protect Employees

      Las Vegas Casinos Face Lawsuit Alleging Failure to Protect Employees

      The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 filed a lawsuit against MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment in order to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

      The lawsuit alleges that The Signature at MGM Grand and Sadelle’s Cafe at the Bellagio, both owned by MGM Resorts International, and Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar at Harrah’s Las Vegas, owned by Caesars Entertainment, didn’t provide reasonable rules and procedures to address the spread of COVID-19. The lawsuit alleges the casinos did not shut down when they learned about positive tests from staff, did not conduct contact tracing, did not inform staff about an employee testing positive for COVID-19, and “provided workers ...

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    16. Harvard Drops Social Group Sanctions Following Sex Discrimination Case

      Harvard Drops Social Group Sanctions Following Sex Discrimination Case

      Harvard has dropped its social group sanctions as a result of a recent Supreme Court decision on sex discrimination, University President Lawrence S. Bacow wrote in an email Monday afternoon.

      In 2016, the College announced a set of sanctions against members of final clubs and single-gender Greek organizations, precluding students in those groups from receiving fellowships, athletics captaincies, and leadership positions in extracurricular groups. First applied to the Class of 2021, the sanctions received intense scrutiny and spawned a pair of lawsuits in state court and federal court.

      Separately, the United States Supreme Court handed down a historic decision in Bostock v. Clayton County earlier this month, ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment ...

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      Mentions: Civil Rights
    17. Cirque du Soleil Files for Bankruptcy

      Cirque du Soleil Files for Bankruptcy

      Cirque du Soleil announced Monday it is filing for bankruptcy protection as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rattle the world.

      The entertainment group is working to "restructure its capital structure," according to a statement. Its application will be heard by the Superior Court of Quebec on Tuesday. Once given this initial order, it will file for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

      Cirque du Soleil is an institution on the Las Vegas Strip, with its pricey, mesmerizing shows high on visitors’ vacation agendas. The company had six shows operating in major Las Vegas casino hotels when coronavirus crushed travel and closed casinos for nearly three months: "O," "Zumanity,’" "The Beatles LOVE," "Ka," "Mystere," and "Michael Jackson ONE."

      Major ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    18. Vineyard Vines Faces Employee Discrimination Suit

      Vineyard Vines Faces Employee Discrimination Suit

      A federal lawsuit filed in Connecticut district court alleges that Vineyard Vines — the preppy fashion wear brand that has become synonymous with Edgartown summers — fostered a discriminatory workplace culture that favored young men over more experienced women.

      In an 18-page complaint filed June 17, former employee Anne Dauer, 57, argues that she was fired from her job as senior vice president of retail after receiving heart surgery, and was replaced with a less experienced and younger male employee. The complaint also alleges that Ms. Dauer’s firing was in line with company culture that often exhibited gender and age-discriminatory practices and unfair compensation.

      The complaint describes an alleged “increasingly ageist, sexist culture,” that was cultivated inside the company over a ...

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    19. Chesapeake Energy Becomes Largest Oil-and-Gas Bankruptcy of Pandemic

      Chesapeake Energy Becomes Largest Oil-and-Gas Bankruptcy of Pandemic

      Fracking pioneer Chesapeake Energy Corporation on Sunday became the largest oil-and-gas company to file for bankruptcy protection during the coronavirus pandemic.

      Chesapeake was once the nation's No. 2 natural gas producer, thanks to early bets on fracking. Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake's late founder and CEO, was considered one of the leaders of the shale boom that transformed the United States into the world's largest oil and natural gas producer. But more recently, bankruptcy rumors had swirled around Chesapeake (CHK) as the company grappled with depressed energy prices, a poorly timed push into oil and a mountain of debt.

      The coronavirus crisis exacerbated those challenges. Despite a recent recovery to $40 a barrel, the price of oil has fallen ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    20. Trans Women of Color Sue Trump Admin Alleging Discrimination

      Trans Women of Color Sue Trump Admin Alleging Discrimination

      Two transgender women, one of them a Black Army veteran and lung cancer survivor, have filed suit against the Trump Administration challenging a recent rule change which strips away anti-discrimination protections in the Affordable Care Act.

      The lawsuit was filed on the behalf of Tanya Asapansa-Johnson Walker and Cecilia Gentili, a Latinx woman and health care advocate, by the Human Rights Campaign on Friday.

      Every visit to the doctor, whether for my lung cancer or other issues, I have to defend my gender identity to the very people responsible for my care,” said Walker. “We are here to tell the Trump-Pence administration that we matter and will no longer accept being mistreated by health care professionals who should be obligated ...

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      Mentions: Human Rights
    21. Parent Company of Chuck E. Cheese Files for Bankruptcy

      Parent Company of Chuck E. Cheese Files for Bankruptcy

      Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company, CEC Entertainment, filed for bankruptcy Thursday, blaming the financial strain caused by Covid-19 and the prolonged closures of its entertainment centers from stay-at-home orders issued across the United States.

      CEC, which also owns Peter Piper Pizza, said it will use Chapter 11 protection to “achieve a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring that supports its re-opening and longer-term strategic plans.”

      The company expects to operate normally, which includes the reopening of its Chuck E. Cheese locations. So far, nearly half of Chuck E. Cheese’s 555 locations have reopened, with plans to reopen more locations weekly. Unlike other bankrupt brands, it didn’t immediately announce store closures.

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    22. Doctors File Lawsuit Claiming Age Discrimination

      Doctors File Lawsuit Claiming Age Discrimination

      Irwin Nash was 73 years old when he filed a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Yale New Haven Hospital, the primary teaching hospital affiliated with Yale School of Medicine. At the time of the 2018 filing, Nash had worked as a pathologist at the hospital or served on the medical school faculty for 42 continuous years. The EEOC, earlier this year, charged the health system with violating the law by requiring employees to complete cognitive and eye exams to maintain hospital privileges after age 70. Nash had passed the examinations, but the lawsuit alleges that the screening requirements subjected him and others “to the stigma of being singled out because of their age.”

      Nearly 150 ...

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    23. GNC Declares Bankruptcy, Closing Up to 1,200 Stores

      GNC Declares Bankruptcy, Closing Up to 1,200 Stores

      GNC has filed for bankruptcy, warning it will close up to a quarter of its stores and search for a buyer.

      The 85-year-old vitamin and dietary supplement company has been saddled with nearly $1 billion of debt and has faced declining sales at its brick-and-mortar locations since before the pandemic. However, GNC said that stay-at-home orders during the Covid-19 pandemic prevented the company from accomplishing its refinancing plans because of the abrupt "dramatic negative impact" on its business.
       
      GNC will continue operating, but it will become a smaller company. It plans to close up to 20% of its 5,800 retail stores, which amounts to as many as 1,200 locations across the United States. GNC also sells its products ...
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    24. Deportation of Honduran Teen Blocked Under Coronavirus Rule

      Deportation of Honduran Teen Blocked Under Coronavirus Rule

      A federal court in Washington, D.C., blocked the deportation of a 16-year-old Honduran boy as part of the first legal challenge to a controversial Trump administration policy that invoked the Public Health Service Act to turn back thousands of immigrants at the southern border. 

      In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order barring the entry of anyone into the country without authorization, including asylum-seekers, as the country sought to curb the spread of the coronavirus by limiting "nonessential" border crossings. The order resulted in children and adults seeking asylum being removed from the country. 

      The court ruled that the CDC surpassed its authority in issuing that order and that the Trump administration violated federal ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
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