Collections Manager Recovers $30,000 for Race Discrimination, Retaliation and Unpaid Overtime
A collections manager for a major furniture retailer recovered $30,000 in damages for unlawful race discrimination and unpaid overtime. In this case, the client was represented by another attorney before he hired Robert S. Norell. The previous attorney helped the client by preparing and filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. The EEOC completed its investigation and was unable to determine that discrimination occurred. When the client received his Notice of Suit Rights from the EEOC, he contacted the previous attorney, who would only agree to represent him on an hourly basis with a $7,000 retainer. The client had already paid the attorney $1,500 to file the EEOC charge and a demand letter to the company. Rather than continue with the same attorney, the client wanted a second opinion.
Upon calling Robert S. Norell, the client provided his information to an experienced intake specialist, who then discussed the case with the attorney. Mr. Norell thought the client’s case had merit and scheduled a consultation. During the consultation, the client and Mr. Norell discussed all aspects of the case. Ultimately, Mr. Norell agreed to take the client’s case on a contingency basis with a small cost deposit to cover the filing fee. During the consultation, Mr. Norell discovered that the client was subject to an automatic lunch deduction. What happened was the company had a policy of deducting 30 minutes daily for a lunch break. The problem with that policy is that the work load was such that the client was not always able to take an uninterrupted 30 minute break. The client would frequently eat on the run or eat at his desk while answering phone calls. Any time that occurs, the entire 30 minutes that was deducted becomes compensable.
As for the race discrimination claim, the client’s direct supervisor committed some pretty foolish and egregious acts. The supervisor called the client a monkey, told him that he would never hire another black manager, and had a “pick on the black guy day” where he terminated the client and then a few minutes later told the client that he was just kidding. After the client complained to the owner of the company, the supervisor and everyone else turned up the heat on the client and made his life miserable at work. The client was written up for ridiculous things, given the cold shoulder, and not provided proper assistance to do his job. Such adverse employment action is commonly referred to as retaliation.
If you feel that you are being treated differently because of your race or your color, or if you are treated badly after you complain about discrimination, protect your rights and immediately call an experienced discrimination and retaliation attorney. And if you frequently work through your lunch, eat on the run or eat at your desk, and your employer automatically deducts 30 or 60 minutes everyday, call an experienced wage and hour attorney to evaluate your situation and protect your rights.