Class Action Clients’ Motion for Class Certification Granted

September 30, 2015

Our law firm recently had a major success that allows us to continue representing hundreds of employees against their former and current employer. We were granted the motion for class certification for a group of employees employed at a staffing firm who were denied wages for all hours worked, including overtime wages, from February 2009 through December 2013.

Defendant has been purposefully and willfully utilizing an electronic timekeeping system in such a manner to systemically round the class members’ work hours in order to avoid paying them their entitled wages under Illinois law. The rounding up of the beginning of the shift and rounding down of the end of the shift resulted in significant savings for Defendant while reducing payment owed to employees.

A class certification is the most important step in a class suit. If the motion for class certification is not granted, the case is dismissed. However, if the motion is certified, the case can move on to pre-trial procedures. 

Racial Harassment Client Wins Appeal in Federal Court

July 24, 2013, Lambert v. Peri Formworks Systems, Inc.

Our law firm won a major court victory for our client in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Our client filed a racial and sexual harassment lawsuit against his employer after being subjected to sexually and racially offensive comments from co-workers and supervisors.

The Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and argued that our client’s case should be dismissed because the employer’s sexual harassment policy instructed employees to report harassment to either the CEO or the human resources manager, and our client reported it to his immediate supervisor instead. The Defendant claimed that because our client did not follow their policy, his claims should be barred. The Defendant also argued that the harassment our client experienced was not severe enough to be considered racial harassment because the comments were not physically threatening and because the supervisor who made the comments said that he called everyone a “donkey” and “gorilla,” not just one group of people. The District Court agreed with the Defendant and granted their motion; however, Attorney Scott Fanning appealed the decision.

On appeal, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court’s decision in our client’s favor. The Court of Appeals said the District Court made a mistake because even though our client’s supervisor was not listed in the employee handbook, the Court said it was not unreasonable for our client to expect his supervisor to refer his complaint to someone in the company who could address the problem. The Court also said that the District Court was wrong in determining that the harassment was not severe enough because even though the harasser claimed that he called everyone a “donkey,” a jury might not believe his explanation. The successful appeal means that the District Court’s decision is reversed and our client will be able to continue his lawsuit and prepare for trial. [Read the entire decision]

More Law.com,Oct. 20, 2000

Our law firm was referenced in connection with a jury trial and the award to the firm's client in a case of harassment and discrimination based on Title VII. Plaintiff, a native of the Dominican Republic, alleged that his boss badgered him with racial slurs every day. He claimed that his boss used epithets to refer to this dark skin color and heritage three or four times a day and sometimes made them on the public address system. He further claimed that managers took no action and denied him overtime and promotions.

Jury verdict for Plaintiff awarding him $3,000,000 in punitive damages; $450,000 for emotional pain, $450,000 for loss of enjoyment of life, $100,000 for pay differential or loss of pay raises. Mr. Asonye tried this case in federal court with attorney Jack Epstein of Chicago, Illinois.  

Chicago Sun-Times, May 13, 2005, Park District Settles Lawsuit

Our firm represented four women in a federal suit of sexual harassment against the Chicago Park District.  The case settled with The Chicago Park District paying the four plaintiffs $240,000.  The four alleged that their supervisor repeatedly touched them inappropriately and talked to them in a sexual way.  The supervisor no longer works for the Chicago Park District.