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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National Origin & Race Discrimination – Case Example

If you have been harassed, discriminated, or retaliated against based on a protected category such as national origin, give our law firm a call at 310-400-5891 for your free confidential consultation

Mari and Claudia are Hispanic and both suffered harassment and discrimination based on their national origin by their employer.

Mari and Claudia were subjected to national-origin based harassment including being told: “Speak English only, I don’t understand Spanish,” and “You are in America, you have to speak English only.” They reported the illegal “English Only” policy but no corrective action was taken.

Mari and Claudia went on to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for harassment and discrimination based on national origin. Right after filing the EEOC complaints, Mari and Claudia’s employment was terminated in retaliation.

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits an employer, including any supervisor, from harassing an employee based on national origin. We helped Mari and Claudia get justice for the racial harassment and retaliation they endured.

If you have been harasseddiscriminated, or retaliated against based on a protected category such as race or national origin, give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

Learn more about National Origin / Race Discrimination Law

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Pregnancy Medical Leave – Case Example

Pregnancy Discrimination Case Example

Vero is a young woman who experienced shocking pregnancy and disability discrimination at work. When she went on a temporary disability leave due to pregnancy complications, she was written up for falling behind on her work while on leave!

To add insult to injury, Vero’s employer ordered her to work overtime to make up for the disability time she missed, when her medical condition would not allow her to. The overtime forced on her made her medical condition worse!

Vero then complained in writing that her being written up for missing time off of work was retaliation and complained to the DFEH. One month later she was fired while she still had 9 days left on her disability leave note and 40 days before she was supposed to give birth.

We obtained justice for Vero for her employer’s despicable and outrageous wrongful termination.

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, retaliated, or discriminated against based on a protected category such as pregnancy, disability or medical condition, give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free consultation.

Learn more about Disability Leave / Medical Leave Law

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Sexual Harassment / Sexual Orientation Harassment – Case Example

Sexual Orientation Harassment Case Example

Throughout his employment, Vinny (male) had to endure a hostile work environment of constant, severe and unwelcome sexual harassment and touching.

A co-worker exposed himself to Vinny multiple times and would call him a faggot. Vinny made a formal written complaint to HR about this and of sexual harassment towards a female employee. Soon thereafter his employer retaliated against him for his written complaints. He received two write-ups and was terminated the very next month.

Same-sex sexual harassment is illegal. So is sexual orientation harassment, even if the person’s involved are heterosexual and only perceived to be LGBTQ+. Moreover, it does not matter if the motivation of the harasser is sexual desire—it is illegal under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.

The sexual misconduct and the company’s retaliation and wrongful termination had a devastating effect on Vinny and his family. We helped Vinny get justice.
If you have suffered sexual orientation harassment or discrimination in your workplace or have been retaliated against, our firm may be able to get you justice too. Give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free consultation.

Learn More About Sexual Harassment Law / How to Report Sexual Harassment at Work?

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Man Awarded $450K After Workplace Birthday Party Panic Attack Leads to Termination

Disability Discrimination News

Kevin Berling was awarded $300,000 for emotional distress and $150,000 in lost wages for a disability discrimination case in late March after a two day trial in Kenton County, Kentucky.

Berling sued his employer, Gravity Diagnostics after the company threw him a birthday party against his request that the company not celebrate his birthday because it would cause him immense stress.

Berling suffers from anxiety disorders and panic attacks. He worked at Gravity Diagnostics for approximately 10 months, when he requested that the company not celebrate his birthday as it normally does for its employees. Berling told his supervisor that a birthday celebration would be a stressful trigger of bad childhood memories surrounding his parents’ divorce. The lawsuit outlines that the office manager ends up forgetting his request and the party is still held for Berling. As a result, Berling suffers a panic attack and leaves.

The next day, Berling is called into a meeting with his bosses where he suffers another panic attack when his supervisor chastised him for “stealing his co-workers” joy and for “being a little girl.” The company then fires Berling saying that they were worried about him being angry and violent. 

As part of the lawsuit, Berling claimed the company discriminated against him based on his disability, and retaliated against him for requesting a reasonable accommodation for his disability. The jury returned the verdict after two days in trial and awarded Berling a $450,000 win. 

The company continues to deny liability and is pursuing port-trial options. The company’s founder and COO, Julie Brazil, stated that the verdict sets a dangerous precedent in which workplace violence will be tolerated unless physical violence occurs, and stated that her employees were the victims, not Berling. The jury didn’t seem to agree with Brazil once they got to meet Berling at trial and saw that the company’s claim that he posed a threat was more of an exaggeration.

Employers must accommodate their employee’s disabilities and cannot terminate someone based on a protected category such as a disability or medical condition.  Further, the law prohibits harassment of an employee based on medical condition or disability. 

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, retaliated or discriminated against based on a protected category such as a physical or mental disability, or medical condition, give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

Learn more about Disability Harassment / Disability Discrimination Law

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National Origin & Race Discrimination – Case Example

A recently handled national origin and racial discrimination case

Lisa is a young woman of Chinese descent. Lisa was subjected to harassment and discrimination at work based on her national origin and race.

Lisa’s boss would make racist comments such as “fucking Chinese people”, constantly saying that there are too many Chinese employees and saying that they needed to stop hiring Chinese people. Lisa’s employer additionally instructed Lisa not to hire certain types of people, such as “blacks.” Lisa protested and complained about the racist comments to her employer.

Instead of trying to cure the discrimination and harassment as required by law, Lisa’s employer retaliated against her and terminated her employment because she protested her boss’ discrimination and harassment.

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits an employer, including any supervisor, from harassing or discriminating an employee based on national origin or race. We helped Lisa get justice for the racial harassment and retaliation she endured. We were able to get her a favorable settlement.

If you have been harasseddiscriminated, or retaliated against based on a protected category such as race or national origin, give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

Learn more about National Origin / Race Discrimination Law

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Whistleblowing – Case Example

Whistleblower Employment Lawyer

Patty was a wonderful professional who performed her job exceptionally. Patty had complained to her Employer about fraud that was being committed by her boss in violation of the USA Patriot Act. Instead of taking action to address the fraud, the company let the fraud continue unabated. Moreover, management retaliated against Patty by bullying and intimidating her and telling her to look the other way on financial crimes. 

When Patty had to take a medical leave of absence due to a serious medical condition affecting her day-to-day life, management retaliated by not accommodating and instead terminating her employment before she was fully released to work by her doctor. 

Patty’s employer discriminated against her by terminating her employment because of her disability and in retaliation for exercising her rights under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) and California Labor Code. 

If you suspect that you have been retaliated against or wrongfully terminated for making complaints of illegal activity, or because of your disability or medical condition, give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

Learn more about Whistleblowing Law / Disability & Medical Leave Law in California

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Georgia Police Department Accused of Rampant Sexual Harassment 

Georgia Police Department Accused of Rampant Sexual Harassment

A sexual harassment and hostile workplace probe into reported allegations against a Georgia police chief revealed a persistent hostile workplace for female employees in the Lawrenceville Police Department. The sexual harassment investigation led to the suspension of Georgia police Chief Tim Wallis, the verbal counseling of Wallis’ assistant chief, Maj. Myron Walker, and led to the resignation of Capt. Christopher Ryan Morgan, who was also found to have violated the city’s harassment policy.

Investigations into allegations uncovered:

1/ The investigation determined that Chief Wallis made sexist remarks to a female officer.

2/ It’s reported that he said “You walk around here looking like a Hooters girl when the air conditioner’s not working ” and “Are you working here or are you working at Hooters? Go get you some orange shorts on”

3/ The Captain violated the city’s sexual harassment policy when he made lewd comments via text to a female officer. It was reported that he asked her to send pictures of her breasts and told her she would look better naked.

3/ Wallis and other officers are also cited as creating a hostile work environment.

4/ The female complainant had originally sought help from Walker and other supervisors in dealing with Morgan’s harassment but they did little to help her.

5/ The report also exposes a years-long sexist culture in the department in which female employees felt undervalued while the network of men in the department, who committed bad behavior, were protected.

With these investigations, the city of Lawrenceville announced that it was updating trainings and would clarify its submission process of confidential employee complaints. 

Sexual harassment is prohibited under California and federal law. It is illegal for employers to allow anyone to be sexually harassed at work. Moreover, if the harassment is widespread enough it can create a hostile work environment

What other male dominated work environments do you think are still permeated with sexual harassment?

Learn More About Sexual Harassment Law / How to Report Sexual Harassment at Work?

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Pregnancy & Disability Leave – Case Example

Pregnancy / Disability Leave

Dalia is a young woman who had consistently performed well at her job. Dalia became pregnant and took a pregnancy leave because of her medical condition. She regularly kept in contact with her employer at all times. She provided doctor’s notes to her employer that she was disabled because she suffered from post-partum depression.

But, out of nowhere, Dalia was suddenly and callously fired the day before her one year work anniversary.  Her employer thought that by terminating her before her 1 year work anniversary, they would be home free to terminate her because California’s Family Rights Act would not apply.  But, they failed to realize that she was protected from their discrimination by other California laws, including the Fair Employment and Housing Act.  

Dalia’s employer unlawfully used her pregnancy and medical condition against her, and terminated her employment to avoid dealing with her medical and parental needs.

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated based on a protected category such as pregnancy, disability, or a medical condition, or been denied medical leave, give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free confidential consultation.  

Learn more about Medical Leave / Disability Law

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EEOC Sues Chipotle Over Rampant Female on Male Sexual Harassment (Including Sex Scorecard)

The EEOC is suing a Chipotle Mexican Grill in San Jose, California on behalf of a male shift manager. The 22-year-old claims that he experienced sexual harassment and retaliation during his employment. Here is what we know about the allegations: 

  1. A female general manager verbally and physically harassed him, including slapping and groping his genitals. 
  2. The female GM kept a daily “sex scoreboard” in the office that revealed details of her staff’s sex lives.  
  3. She told the complainant that she wanted to watch him and his girlfriend have sex. She also told him that she wanted to have a threesome with them. 
  4. The GM frequently discussed inappropriate topics such as her sex life and the sex lives of her staff members.
  5. The complainant reported this behavior to upper management but was later locked in the walk-in freezer and forced to quit. 

Though Chipotle refuses to comment on the specifics of this lawsuit, a spokesperson has come forward saying that the company doesn’t tolerate “discrimination or harassment in any form” and that they will take “appropriate action” whenever reports of harassment come forth in the restaurant. 

How common do you think “female on male” sexual harassment takes place in the workplace?

*image by Mike Mozart

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Shirazi Law Firm, PC

Shirazi Law Firm, PC

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Phone: 310 400 5891
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