Significant Cases in Employment and Civil Rights Law
Allred, Maroko & Goldberg is a nationally recognized employment law firm established 40 years ago. Since our founding, we have been committed to protecting the civil rights of California employees and private citizens, regardless of their public stature. We are proud of the very real difference we have made in the lives of people throughout these years.
We believe the best method for effecting social change after experiencing harassment or discrimination is to expose the violation and inflict real, financial damages on the offender. This is often the only way to ensure that the offense is corrected and never repeated. Our client policy has been instrumental in changing both public policy and public perception.
Successful Settlements and Awards
Allred, Maroko & Goldberg is known for its ability to get results. We have secured about $200 million for clients in just the past five years. Read more about some of our victories in the areas below:
- Sexual harassment
- Age discrimination
- Race/ethnicity/country of origin discrimination
- Gender discrimination
- Disability discrimination
- Civil rights
- National Origin
- Discovery Issues in Discrimination Cases
- Sexual Abuse
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Personal Injury
- Same Sex Marriage
- Discovery Issues During Litigation
- Representing Clients in High-Profile Matters
Nathalie Fontanez v. City of Boston
AMG helped obtain a $3.2 million settlement on behalf of Nathalie Fontanez, a former Boston firefighter, who alleged she was sexually harassed by male colleagues while on the job, ostracized when she complained to her superiors, and sexually assaulted in a firehouse by a colleague. The colleague was later convicted of criminal charges. Ms. Fontanez also alleges that the City of Boston retaliated against her by denying her a better job after she reported the sexual harassment. Additional information can be found here: Statement of Gloria Allred I, Statement of Gloria Allred II, Revised Statement NF
$18.4 Million Verdict — James Stevens v. Vons
Mr. Stevens was employed in the receiving department of Vons supermarkets for more than 25 years. After complaining to the company about ongoing sexual harassment by his female supervisor, he was transferred to a less desirable store location and subjected to a two-year campaign of retaliation, ending in his termination. At trial, a jury awarded Mr. Stevens $1.67 million in compensatory damages and over $16 million in punitive damages for a total of $18.4 million plus attorney’s fees.
Over $5 Million Verdict — Straight Male
In an unusual case, a straight male sued another straight male for sexual harassment occurring at his workplace. A jury awarded our client in excess of $5 million.
$5 Million Dollar Verdict — Lauren Reeves v. Hologram USA, Inc., Alki David Productions, Inc. and Alkiviades (“Alki”) David
A Los Angeles jury found that our client Lauren Reeves was subjected to sexual harassment and sexual battery by Alkiviades (“Alki”) David while she was employed by Defendants. On October 11 and 15, 2019, a Los Angeles jury found in favor of Ms. Reeves on her claims and also found that Mr. David acted with malice. The jury awarded Ms. Reeves $4,350,000 as punitive damages in addition to the $650,000 they awarded her for compensatory damages for a total award of $5 million dollars against Mr. David.
$2.5 Million Settlement — A Group of Women Employees
We represented numerous young women who were sexually harassed by a manager while applying for a job with a national chain. The company resolved our clients’ claims after litigation commenced, prior to trial.
$15 Million Settlement for Circuit City Employees
In 2007, Circuit City terminated thousands of workers nationwide because they earned 51 cents or more above the established pay rate; they were then told they could reapply for jobs earning far less. We filed a class action suit on behalf of 217 former California employees contending that these layoffs discriminated against older employees who tended to be the higher wage earners, a violation of California law. Los Angeles Superior Court agreed and approved a settlement of $15 million.
Over $5 Million — Dr. Fawzy Salama v. King/Drew Medical Center
At age 49, Dr. Fawzy Salama, a medical doctor born and trained in Egypt, was accepted as an intern in the anesthesiology department at the medical center. The center subsequently rescinded the offer. Shortly after being told of his rejection, Dr. Salama suffered a heart attack. The matter proceeded to trial and a Los Angeles jury returned a verdict of over $5 million in favor of Dr. Salama on his age discrimination claim.
Cummings v. Benco Building Services, (1992) 11 Cal.App.4th 1383
The California Court of Appeal held that our client’s claim of age discrimination was neither frivolous, nor unreasonable, nor groundless.
Race/Ethnicity/Country of Origin Discrimination
$3.6 Million Verdict — Group of Minority Male Employees
We represented a group of men of different races and ethnicities who were subjected to offensive racial slurs, epithets and racially based drawings. The men had repeatedly complained to upper management and to the company’s human resources department. The company failed to take action. The matter was vigorously litigated and was ultimately resolved for $3.6 million.
$1.68 Million Settlement — Women Farm Workers
A group of experienced female farm workers applied to pick table grapes for a Delano, California, grower, but were told that the business did not want women and that all women are lazy. Although the grower filled approximately 300 positions each year between 1998 and 2002, no women were hired in that time period. Our partner, Tomás Olmos, filed a class action suit and won a historic victory.
Bass v. Great Western Savings, (1976) 58 Cal. App.3d 770
Represented Bass who sued for gender discrimination. The California Court of Appeal agreed that Plaintiff Ms. Bass was discriminated against since her employer paid its male salespersons more compensation, yet they were not more qualified than Plaintiff Ms. Bass who performed substantially the same work.
Fernandez v. Wynn Oil, (1981) 653 F.2d 1273
Represented Delia Fernandez who alleged she was not promoted because of her gender. The Employer defended by arguing that its Latin American clients would react negatively to a woman vice-president of International Operations. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal agreed with Plaintiff Fernandez that customer preference in an international business setting is not a justification for sex discrimination.
Thorne v City of El Segundo, 726 F.2d 459 (9th Cir. 1983)
Represented a female who applied to be a police officer. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal held that a refusal to hire a woman because of sex-stereotyped view of her physical abilities is discrimination. The Court further found that the Employer violated Plaintiff Ms. Thorne’s constitutional right of privacy by relying on private non job-related information of her sexual life.
Disability Discrimination/Violation of ADA
Close to $1 Million Settlement — Disabled Employee
A woman was employed by a company for 25 years and helped the company grow into a prosperous enterprise. She began suffering from a disability and the company terminated her employment due to her disability. The matter was resolved prelitigation for close to $1 million.
Same-Sex Marriage, March 4, 2008 – ‘The Biggest Civil Rights Case in Decades’
For almost four hours, the California Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Gloria Allred and Michael Maroko were prominent among the advocates appearing before the court, representing clients Robin Tyler, Diane Olson, the Rev. Troy Perry and Phillip Ray DeBlieck.
Engel v. Worthington (1997) 6o Cal.App.4th 628
The Court of Appeal held that a prevailing plaintiff in an Unruh Civil Rights Act case is entitled to an attorney fees award as a matter of law.
In Re: Marriage Cases, (2008) 43 Ca1.4th 757
Represented same sex couple who sought to be married. The California Supreme Court held that California law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples was unconstitutional and ordered the State of California to license same sex marriages
Jasperson v. Jessica’s Nail Clinic, (1989) 216 Cal.App.3d 1099
Represented person with AIDS in an action against a pedicure salon for salon’s violation of a municipal ordinance prohibiting discrimination against persons with AIDS.
Birtell v. Lockheed, (2988) 201 Cal. App.3d 293, cert. denied, (1989) 109 S. Ct. 869
Represented Kurt Birtell who alleged he was fired for being a whistleblower. The California Court of Appeal ruled that Federal law does not prevent a worker from filing suit for a wrongful termination arising out of a claim by a union member against an employer, and reaffirming a legitimate state interest in enforcing a “whistle blower” statute. Mr. Birtell was able to proceed with his lawsuit.
Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, U.S., L.L.C. v. Nackel 346 F.3d 360 (2d Cir. 2003)
The Federal Court of Appeal reversed a lower court order requiring the plaintiff to arbitrate his claims because the lower court did not assess conflicts between California law and New York law on the enforceability of the arbitration agreement.
Prudential Ins. Co. of America v. Lai 42 F .3d1299 (9th Cir. 1994)
The Federal Court of Appeal reversed an order compelling a plaintiff to arbitrate claims and held that a plaintiff cannot be compelled to arbitrate unless he or she knowingly agree to arbitrate.
Gutierrez v. County of Los Angeles, 1985 WL 6450 (C.D. Cal)
Obtained an Order prohibiting the Municipal Court requiring employees to communicate only in the English language during working hours.
Discovery Issues in Discrimination Cases
Knoettgen v. The Superior Court, (1990) 24 Cal.App.3d 11
Successfully defeated an employer’s effort to obtain discovery concerning sexual attacks on our client during her childhood.
Rita M. v. Roman Catholic Archbishop (1986) 187 Cal.App.3d 1453
Represented Rita M who was sexually abused by clergy.
Sexual Orientation Discrimination
Rolon v. Kulwitsky, (1984) 153 Cal. App.3d 289
Represented two lesbian women who sued a restaurant for unlawful discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The California Court of Appeal confirmed the Unruh Civil Rights Act allowed a preliminary injunction against the business.
State ex rel. Dept. of California Highway Patrol v. Superior Court, (2015) 60 Ca1.4th 1002
The California Supreme Court held for the first time that the California Highway Patrol may be held liable for the negligence of a tow truck driver who was not its employee but was under its control at the time of an accident.
Same Sex Marriage
Strauss v. Horton, (2009) 46 Cal. 4th 364
Represented same sex couple challenging the enforceability of Proposition 8, which took effect on November 5, 2008, which stated that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
Discovery Issues During Litigation
Tylo v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 55 Cal. App.4th 1379 (1997).
Represented an actress suing Spelling Television. This was a significant victory for persons suing their employers; the California Court of Appeal made it clear that it will not allow employers to engage in “fishing expeditions” during the discovery phase of litigation.
Representing Clients in High-Profile Matters
Our lawyers represent clients throughout California involved in discrimination, sexual harassment and high-profile legal matters such as cases for the following clients:
- Amber Frey, key witness in People v. Scott Peterson
- The Nicole Brown Simpson family in People v. O.J. Simpson
- Photographer Henry Trappler v. Tommy Lee (of the rock group Mötley Crüe)
- Actress Hunter Tylo v. Aaron Spelling/Spelling Productions
Most of our cases, however, involve everyday people whose rights have been violated in the workplace or elsewhere. We help them stand up against their employers to protect their rights under state and federal employment law. Contact our employment law attorneys to learn how we may be able to help you.