Employer Fakes Gruesome Active Shooter Drill Without Telling Anyone, Resulting in Mayhem

Employer Fakes Gruesome Active Shooter Drill Without Telling Anyone, Resulting in Mayhem

John Channels was hired by a real life employer to ambush its Nebraska office building simulating a mass shooting with an assault rifle holding blank cartridges and actors covered in fake blood. However, only two in the building knew of the active shooter drill, which led to a traumatizing show, and ended with Channel’s arrest for terroristic threats.

Catholic Charities, who were new to the building, had ordered an ambush on their building simulating a mass shooting on May 19. This “drill” began with Channels, wearing a dark hoodie and mask, firing blanks into the air and banging on the windows of a conference room from outside of the building. This caused genuinely terrified workers to flee the conference room and stumble on hired actors bleeding fake blood in the hallway.

Employees rushed to the building’s exits and many called 911. The police was not alerted ahead of time about the drill so they responded as if it were a legitimate active shooter incident. Channels was later arrested on five charges of terroristic threats, a separate gun count and was placed on bail at $300,000.

Prosecutors note that Channels was lucky no one was seriously injured. It was also uncovered that Channels had gone around asking ‘’hysterical” employees if they wanted to purchase a gun from him and lessons.

Channels’ attorney pointed out that the hysteria brought on by Channels was ultimately what Catholic Charities had ordered, “be real life-like.” Also, Channels had explained the exercise to the supervisors ahead of time in detail including requesting employees be kept in the dark and they okayed it.

Catholic Charities has denied asking for the drill to be so elaborate and claimed Channels had misrepresented himself and did not follow agreed upon procedures including alerting law enforcement of the drill. Channels, however, apparently did attempt to alert the Omaha police through written notice.

Channels’ attorney plans to depose Catholic Charities’ supervisors to prove Channels wasn’t the mastermind in order to eliminate the terroristic threats charges. Channels was taken into custody before obtaining written proof that Catholic Charities ordered the drill. In the end, Channels not only faces charges for the drill incident but also for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl and for production of child pornography, which he was arrested for in May.

Catholic Charities will also likely face legal liability for the horrendous effect this had to most of its employees.

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Bill O’Reilly Sexual Harassment Case Settles

It seems that scandalous behavior is a common denominator for more than just one person at Fox News. Roger Ailes, the former CEO of Fox News, stepped down last year after settling a $20 million sexual harassment suit against a female employee. While the fire following the Ailes scandal was being fanned by the media, executives from the company were scrambling to keep another scandal from seeing the light of day. Bill O’Reilly, host of The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel, was being accused of similar behavior by his former employee Juliet Huddy. 

In 2011, Huddy alleged that O’Reilly tried pursuing a sexual relationship with her. At the time, he could have easily helped (or hurt) Huddy’s career. Some of the inappropriate behavior alleged against O’Reilly included: 

  1. O’Reilly would call Huddy and it would sound like he was masturbating.
  2. He invited her to his house, gave her a tour, and then tried to kiss her. 
  3. He took her to dinner and a Broadway show. During the show he tried to hold her hand, dropped his hotel key in her lap, and then invited her to his hotel.
  4. When Huddy went to the hotel to return his key, she asked him to meet her in the lobby. When he refused, Huddy told him she did not want a sexual relationship with him. When she met him at his room, he was in his boxer shorts. Huddy gave him the key and left immediately.

After Huddy turned O’Reilly down, Huddy alleged that he retaliated by trying to ruin her career. He acted condescendingly when she made mistakes, nitpicked her work, and stopped properly preparing her for work assignments. In 2013, O’Reilly found a replacement for her on the segment of his show that she was regularly featured on.

21st Century Fox allegedly paid Huddy a settlement in the high six figures. 

This is not O’Reilly’s first sexual harassment charge. In 2004, his former producer sued him for $60,000,000. O’Reilly countersued for extortion but later settled with her out of court for an undisclosed amount of money (believed to be in the millions of dollars.)

What do you think? Do you believe O’Reilly engaged in this inappropriate behavior? Or do you think Huddy took advantage of his celebrity status?

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Alanis Morissette Sued by Nanny for Unpaid Wages, Overtime, and Meal Break Violations

Alanis Morissette’s former nanny, Bianca Cambeiro, has sued the singer and her husband Mario ‘Souleye’ Treadway, claiming that she was not paid overtime and forced to work 12-hour shifts without overtime pay or a break.

Cambeiro alleges in the lawsuit that she was hired as a night nanny for the couple’s son. Her shift was from 9 p.m. until 9 a.m. for $25 per hour. Cambeiro states that, during her employment, Morissette and her husband prohibited Cambeiro from leaving the baby’s room during her 12-hour shift, even if the baby was sleeping. As such, she claims she could neither eat nor take a break during her shift. Additionally, Cambeiro claims that Morissette and her husband failed to pay her statutory required overtime wages, in violation of California law.

Cambeiro seeks unpaid wages and other damages. Cambeiro also says that she suffered emotional distress–which are not recoverable for wage and hour violations.

Morissette is one of many celebrities who have been sued by for overtime by their:

Nannies:

Assistants:

What do you think of these celebrity overtime claims?  Do you think these are true or made up celebrity shake downs?

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Garth Brooks Sued for Unpaid Wages

Garth Brooks’ former business partner is suing him for unpaid wages and bonuses.  Lisa Sanderson is seeking $425,000 from the famed country music artist whom she worked with for almost 20 years.  Sanderson is a television and movie producer who claims she was hired by Brooks to start his acting career. Sanderson claims she is owed wages for getting Brooks movie roles which he declined.  Brooks allegedly declined roles in Saving Private Ryan and Twister because he “wanted to be the star” and was not willing to take a backseat to Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, or a tornado.

Sanderson also alleges Brooks turned down other deals she arranged for him including Fox and Disney.  Sanderson’s suit states that she never got the 50 percent of producers fees she was promised.

What do you think of a business partner–as opposed to an employee–suing for unpaid “wages”?

Please post your comments at:  www.ShiraziLawFirm.com/blog

For a little more juicy unpaid wages/salary misclassified case see my article re Lady Gaga being sued here.

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Magic Johnson Sued for Wrongful Termination and Age Discrimination in Los Angeles

Magic Johnson’s former flight attendant has sued his company for wrongful termination in Los Angeles Superior Court.  The former employee on Magic Johnson’s private plane, Lanita Thomas, is suing for age discrimination and various California Labor Code violations.  Ms. Thomas, 45, alleges that Magic replaced her with a much younger flight attendant because he prefers younger women in violation of the law. Ms. Thomas claims that the “pretext” for her termination by Magic was that she was seven minutes late while trying to get Magic the very specific kind of turkey he likes in his sandwiches.  Ms. Thomas-who worked for Magic since 2004-alleges that Magic hired the much younger flight attendant that temporarily substituted in for her during her prior medical leave of absence.

In addition to the age discrimination claim, Ms. Thomas is suing for California Labor Code violations, including non-payment of overtime and missed meal and rest periods.  Ms. Thomas alleges that she spent about a third of her time stocking Magic’s private plane with “highly specific in-flight food and beverage choices,” including liquorice, which she was required to “regularly squeeze to make sure they were soft.”  Ms. Thomas alleges that because she was the only flight attendant and had to spend so much time on the above-mentioned tasks, that she was never allowed to take full meal or rest breaks.

What do you think of the age discrimination claim against Magic?

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“The Bachelor” Race Discrimination Lawsuit Thrown Out of Court

Update from a previous post:

Several months back I wrote a post on the lawsuit filed by two African-American men who sued the shows “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” for race discrimination because they did not have African-American contestants (see my first post below).  Well, last week the judge dismissed the case on grounds that casting decisions by the network and the series’ producers are protected by the First Amendment.

The federal judge stated that while the Plaintiffs’ efforts are “laudable,” they cannot regulate the show’s content under the First Amendment.  The judge ruled that:  “Ultimately, whatever messages `The Bachelor’ and `The Bachelorette’ communicate or are intended to communicate – whether explicitly, implicitly, intentionally, or otherwise – the First Amendment protects the right of the producers of these shows to craft and control those messages, based on whatever considerations the producers wish to take into account”.

What do you think of this ruling on First Amendment grounds?  Wouldn’t then all discrimination be allowable as freedom of expression?

Comment below or at www.ShiraziLawFirm.com/blog

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:  Two African Americans are suing the long-running show “The Bachelor” for race discrimination.  The two men say that they—like many other African Americans—were not chosen by the show’s producers because of their race.

This case brings up two points.  First, most people think of race discrimination as being outlawed only by employment laws.  It seems unlikely that a Bachelor contestant would be an employee, but race discrimination laws can still apply.  Many states have civil rights laws prohibiting race discrimination in all sorts of situations—such as public accommodations.

Next, there is the question of whether there are exceptions to the civil rights and employment laws for such discrimination.  In the employment law context, many state laws have an “entertainment” exception.  For example, if a Broadway play or TV show is trying to cast someone to play the role of Martin Luther King, it is permissible to only hire/cast someone who is an African American male.

Now, The Bachelor does not have specific racial roles, but the producers may (rightly or wrongly) argue that their target audience is a specified gender, age, and race group.  This is a tough one to decide.  What do you think?

http://www.shirazilawfirm.com/suing-the-bachelor-for-race-discrimination/

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A Hostile Work Environment Can be Sexual or Gender Harassment

A journalist recently asked me if making comments behind someone’s back can be sexual harassment? Most people think that sexual harassment needs to involve some kind of touching or at least a direct verbal proposition – but this isn’t necessarily the case.  Sexual harassment includes things like:

  • sexually provocative materials/pornography
  • extremely vulgar language
  • degrading comments (sexual or derogatory)
  • embarrassing questions or jokes

If someone in the workplace is exhibiting unacceptable behavior and making it uncomfortable for a co-worker, that is harassment.  So the answer to the journalist’s question is yes.  If someone in the workplace is making sexually charged rumors, comments, and language in the workplace it can be sexual harassment (a hostile work involvement.) People are familiar with sexual harassment, but there is also gender harassment.  Gender harassment is less about a sexually charged work environment, but more about degrading, embarrassing, derogatory, or vulgar conduct or language related to one’s gender. In today’s world, such conduct is unacceptable and there are well established laws to protect you and the environment you work in. If you or someone you know is being exposed to this kind of nonsense, call or contact me at 310-400-5891 and I’d be happy to talk to you about it.

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CA Supreme Court Reverses Insurance Adjuster Exemption Ruling. Liberty Mutual Insurance adjusters not necessarily miscasasified as exempt.

Visit my mediator friend’s site here to read the full article

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