Employee & Workers’ Rights

A Comprehensive Approach to Employee and Workers’ Rights

At Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP, we are resolute in the pursuit of justice for workers across all industries, sectors, professions, and types of labor. We exclusively represent employees and have filed lawsuits against the largest and most powerful corporations and public entities. We have a reputation for taking all actions necessary to obtain just compensation for those injured by even the most well-resourced wrongdoers.

Our decades of experience have crossed the spectrum of all areas of employment law. We are well prepared to offer counsel and legal representation in cases involving:

  • Employment discrimination because of any protected characteristic, including, but not limited to, race, national origin, age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, and pregnancy.
  • Workplace harassment based on any protected characteristic, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment and harassment based on race.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations, including denial of the right to take leave and retaliation for taking leave.
  • Wrongful termination, including constructive discharge (i.e., being forced to quit) and severance negotiations.
  • Whistleblower retaliation, where an employee is subjected to an adverse personnel action for complaining about the employer’s illegal conduct.
  • Breach of contract, where the employer violates the terms of an employment agreement.

If you believe you have experienced any of these issues, contact us at (626) 775-7870 so we can evaluate your situation and speak to you about your options.

Employment Discrimination:

Within a month of forming this firm in 1991, Dan Stormer won an almost $20 million verdict in a sex discrimination case against Texaco, the largest of its kind in the country. Since that time, attorneys at our firm have been litigating discrimination claims and taking on the cutting-edge issues, including discrimination on the basis of transgender status and on behalf of domestic violence victims.

We have litigated and taken to trial discrimination cases brought by both current and former employees and are well versed in the evidence that matters, which may include stereotypes, use of epithets, unlawful workplace rules, and differential treatment of workers. Victims often suffer wrongful termination, denials of promotion, and wage inequity and/or loss, typically with serious consequences, including severe emotional distress.

Workplace Harassment:

Within a month of forming this firm in 1991, Barbara Hadsell won a $3.1 million verdict in a sexual harassment case against the Long Beach Police Department, the largest of its kind in the country. Our firm has been fighting sexual harassment and other forms of harassment in the workplace since that time.

Harassment based on any protected characteristic is unlawful. The recent Me Too Movement has put a spotlight on sexual harassment. What many may not know is that there are two types of sexual harassment: “quid pro quo” harassment and hostile work environment harassment. “Quid pro quo” harassment occurs when someone conditions a term of employment on submitting to unwanted sexual advances, while hostile work environment harassment occurs when an employee is subjected to unwanted and offensive behavior or comments relating to the sex or gender identity of the employee. Examples include, but are not limited to, unwelcome touching, staring, leering, intrusive questions about the employee’s sex life, and sexually explicit materials or photos circulated among employees. Cases involving harassment based on other protected characteristics typically involve unwanted and offensive behavior or comments that are derogatory and disparaging in nature.

If you have experienced harassment at work, you should immediately report the incident(s) to your employer’s Human Resource Department. Reporting the incident will put pressure on your employer to adequately resolve the issue and also creates a traceable record that shows you took the necessary steps to report and end the harassment. You should also keep a written record of each incident of harassment you experience.

Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP takes great pride in our ability to compassionately work with victims of harassment. We know this area of law can be particularly emotional and sensitive, which is why you can depend on our diverse team of dedicated lawyers to prioritize the privacy interests of you and your family.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Violations:

Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP has defended and fought for people’s rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and its state law counterpart, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Our lawyers’ efforts have covered the spectrum of pregnancy discrimination and actions against people who took leaves from work to care for a seriously ill child or other family member.

Violations of laws governing family and medical leaves take many forms, including, but not limited to, the denial of a person’s right to an unpaid or partially paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, or for his or her own serious health condition or that of an immediate family member, and termination or the threat of other employment retaliation for taking a qualified leave.

Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP has an abundance of experience litigating cases involving violations of medical leave laws as well as the other employment issues that are often also present, such as an employer’s failure to accommodate the employee’s disability.

Wrongful Termination:

Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP has successfully litigated wrongful termination cases in state and federal court against scores of major corporations, including Texaco, Unocal, Verizon, Disney, ConocoPhillips, Northrup, MCA/Universal, Walmart, US Tobacco, Amgen, and many others. These cases have resulted in millions of dollars in settlements and judgments for our clients and significant institutional changes at these companies.

A wrongful termination case must be based on a violation of the law. We have the experience to determine if there is an unlawful basis for the termination of your employment, including whether you have been subjected to discrimination or retaliation for whistleblowing, as described above in the sections regarding Employment Discrimination and Whistleblower Retaliation. We also have the experience to evaluate whether you have a claim for constructive discharge, which is when the employer has created a hostile or intolerable work environment which forces you to quit.

Although we are trial lawyers, we believe that a lawsuit may not be the avenue to take in every case or for every client. Sometimes the best way forward is to negotiate the best possible severance agreement and not to file suit. We can help you get the most value out of an agreement with your former employer through confidential, private negotiations.

Whistleblower Retaliation:

Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP has successfully represented whistleblowers who have suffered retaliation in both the private and public sector. Too many honest employees trying to do the right thing and right a wrong by speaking up have suffered retaliation by their employers in the form of harassment, undesired transfers, or outright termination. Our whistleblower cases have involved complaints by employees ranging from embezzlement and fraud to discrimination and unlawful labor practices.

It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for reporting a violation of a state or federal law or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal law or for refusing to engage in the conduct reasonably believed to be unlawful. The law protects employees who report the illegal activity to their superiors or other members of management, internal watchdogs, the police, and other authorities.

Workplace retaliation can take a variety of forms, including, but not limited to, denial of training and resources, harassment, unwarranted disciplinary action, demotion, and termination.

Breach of Contract:

Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP regularly represents employees, including corporate executives and officers, when their employers refuse to comply with the terms of their employment agreement. Oftentimes the employee has been terminated from the job. While employers have latitude in making decisions based on business needs and priorities, they generally must comply with the terms of their contract with an employee.

Employment contracts can include protections against arbitrary actions like termination and discipline without good cause. The terms of an employment contract can also provide for a severance to be paid to the employee if the employer terminates the relationship. We aggressively seek maximum compensation in these breach of contract cases by negotiating aggressive severance agreements.

To get started, call us at (626) 775-7870 and schedule your initial phone consultation. We are here to help.

Victories in Employment Cases

Our attorneys have successfully litigated the gamut of employment issues and have obtained some of the largest settlements and verdicts in history.

Notable cases include the following:

  • Martin v. Texaco Refining and Marketing, Inc. (Los Angeles County Superior Court, 1991).
    In this historic gender discrimination cases brought on behalf of a woman denied a promotion by her long time employer, Texaco, Dan Stormer obtained a verdict of $20.3 million in 1991. Over 30 years later, the verdict still stands as one of the largest ever obtained in a single plaintiff gender discrimination matter.
  • Wysinger v. Automobile Club of Southern California (Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. 01132996, 2015).
    Disability discrimination and retaliation claims tried to a jury resulting in judgment of over $2.85 million.
  • Steffens v. Regus Group PLC (United States District Court, Southern District, Case No. 08 CV 1494 LAB WVG, 2013).
    Jury verdict of $4,646,252 against property management giant Regus, for retaliatory firing its general manager in a San Diego facility after she reported break and overtime violations.
  • Schell v. City of Los Angeles (United States District Court, Central District, Case No. CV 00-01454, 2001).
    Whistleblower lawsuit filed on behalf of civilian employee of Los Angeles Police Department who was transferred and then fired for refusing to change her testimony in a prior lawsuit. Trial resulted in $4.3 million verdict for plaintiff, including a punitive damage award of $500,000 against Chief of Police Bernard Parks and $250,000 against his assistant, Commander Watson.
  • Allison v. City of Long Beach (United States District Court, Central District, Case No. CV 89-3240, 1991).
    In a historic matter that became a television movie, Barbara Hadsell represented two female Long Beach police officers who had been sexually harassed. Case resulted in $4 million verdict for plaintiffs (1991).
  • Booker v. County of Los Angeles, et al. (Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. 20STCV02257, 2021).
    $175,000.00 Settlement on behalf of a fired Black employee who believed that the was being harassed on account of his race. Despite a finding that the harassment was not based on race, Plaintiff obtained a settlement including payment and a full pension valued at over $1,500,000.
  • Sarah Murphy v. West Los Angeles College, et al. (Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No.18STCV07332, 2020).
    We represented student worker with a disability employed by West Los Angeles College, who was sexually assaulted and sexually harassed by one of her supervisors, a former dean. The case settled for $795,000.
  • Duchan v. Los Angeles Unified School District, et al. (Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC591524, 2019).
    Lawsuit filed on behalf of Los Angeles Unified School District art teacher whom LAUSD suspended and publicly defamed after an ex-student created a fake Facebook account in his name and posted sexually explicit posts. The case settled for $499,999.
  • Crystal Losorelli v. State of California et al. (San Bernardino Superior Court, Case No. CIVDS 1418794, 2017).
    Pregnancy and sex discrimination case filed on behalf of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation employee who was constructively terminated after her employer refused to engage in the interactive process and provide reasonable accommodations. The lawsuit settled for $925,000.
  • Confidential Arbitration (2020).
    $3,069,729.84 arbitration award including $1,000,000 in punitive damages in arbitration on behalf of a senior global sales executive fired for whistleblowing.
  • Mara Pelsman v. Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center et al. (Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case BC699392, 2019).
    Whistleblower lawsuit filed by female CEO of hospital who was fired after she reported concerns about the all-male Board of Director’s improper conduct. The parties settled the case after opening statements on the first day of trial.
  • Frost v. Hesperia School District (San Bernardino Superior Court, Case No. CIVDS1313980, 2019).
    $850,000 settlement for teacher terminated in retaliation of her defense of LGBT high school students.
  • Estrada v. City of LA Habra Heights (Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case number: BC 502851, 2015).
    $500,000 settlement for city employee with disabilities for disability discrimination.
  • Mango v. City of Maywood (Los Angeles County Superior Court, 2015).
    $750,000 settlement on behalf of Assistant City Manager who alleged that he was retaliated against for assisting FBI in criminal probe.
  • Tostado v. City of Los Angeles (2003).
    Our lawyers brought one of the first discrimination cases against the City of Los Angeles Police Department on behalf of an officer for wrongful demotion based upon gender discrimination. The settlement of $1.3 million was at the time the largest such settlement in the City’s history.
  • Lopez v. City of Alhambra (Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC 209 442, 2000).
    Latina police sergeant sued city of Alhambra for failure to promote her because of her sex and race. Case settled for $800,300, plus a retroactive promotion to lieutenant making the Plaintiff the first Latina promoted to management.
  • Cameron v. City of Los Angeles (United States District Court, Central District, Case No. CV 95-2127 WMB, 2000).
    Case by four female firefighters alleging sexual discrimination and harassment against the Los Angeles Fire Department. Case settled for $795,000.
  • Mosleh v. City of El Segundo (YC 025 903, 1999).
    In the cutting edge case brought by two City employees who were harassed and discriminated against because of their gender and race, our firm obtained the clients a settlement of $1.33 million.
  • Henry v. JAMS/Endispute, Inc (BC 171 321, 1998).
    Breach of contract action by retired Judge Dana Senit Henry against JAMS. Plaintiff won nearly $600,000 in a case heard by referee.
  • Draper v. USC (1997).
    In a matter brought by a female professor against the University of Southern California for sexual harassment, retaliation, failure to tenure case, our attorneys obtained a then record settlement of $550,000.
  • Vitale v. City of Long Beach (Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC 126 134, 1996).
    Female city prosecutor alleged sexual discrimination and harassment by male prosecutors. Settled for $750,000.

Give us a call at (626) 775-7870 or contact us online to schedule your free case consultation with our legal team.

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