Court Cases

Court / legal Case Asian American: (Source: Internet Posting or Public Record.)

June, 2012

Rosemead slaughterhouse fights closure with discrimination suit

Officials in Rosemead, California want to shut down a slaughterhouse on Garvey Avenue, but the owners are fighting back with a federal lawsuit that accuses city officials of racial and religious discrimination. But owners Quan and Dana Phu, who have filed a suit in federal court, say closing their shop deprives the community of an essential service. Fresh poultry with the head and feet intact holds special meaning for many Asians, who use the whole birds for family meals, and Buddhists, who use them as offerings to ancestors when praying, the lawsuit says. The dispute highlights the San Gabriel Valley city’s struggle to reconcile its vision of the future with a dramatic ethnic shift. In the last decade, an influx of Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants has made the middle-class bedroom community of 54,000 more than 60% Asian. (Source: Internet)

 

June, 2012

WSU to pay $650K to settle discrimination lawsuit.
This week, Washington State University disclosed terms to pay $650,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit brought by two former employees of Chinese descent:
Dr. Ying Li and her husband Lizhong Yang alleged that while working in WSU’s Laboratory for Bioanalysis and Biotechnology over the course of several years, they were subjected to overt discrimination by the lab supervisor based on their race and national origin. Both resigned when the discriminatory conduct wouldn’t stop: They said they were precluded from speaking Chinese at work and during breaks. After complaining, they said, they were segregated into seating arrangements with other non-white employees and excluded from numerous lab meetings. “Dr. Li and Mr. Yang came to America from China expecting to live the American dream, not expecting to see bias and prejudice at a progressive institution like WSU,” said their attorney, Scott Blankenship of Seattle. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded there was reasonable cause to believe that Li, Yang, and other Asian employees of the lab were subjected to a hostile work environment because of their race and national origin. (Source: Internet.)

 

May, 2012

More lawsuits are brewing at Dunkin’ Donuts. A franchisee is suing the coffee-and-donut chain for racial discrimination, in particular against “Asian Indian American women of color.” Priti Shetty, who is Indian American, filed a suit in New Jersey state court last week against publicly traded Dunkin’ Brands, accusing it of a poor track record with people of color.

Many women of Indian descent work at Dunkin’ but none are multi-unit managers in New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, the suit claims. (Source: internet)

 

May 10,2012

Ellen Pao, a Chinese American woman working in Silicon Valley filed a discrimination charge of gender and sexual harassment

against her employer in Superior Court of the State of California, City and County of San Francisco, (Source: Case # CGC-12-520719, Internet)

 

April, 2012

– In early April, 2012,  41 Asian-American fishermen sued BP in Federal Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans, claiming discrimination in the company’s Vessels of Opportunity program. Vietnamese and Cambodian fishermen in Village L’est and Versailles in New Orleans East were among the first residents to return after Katrina, only to see their livelihoods crushed a few years later by the BP spill. Asian Americans were underrepresented in the VOO given their numbers in the Gulf fishing community. Over half of all commercial fishermen affected by the spill were Vietnamese and Cambodian Americans but they accounted for less than 10 percent of the vessels hired by BP, the suit says. Of the 5,000 vessels BP engaged, only 350 belonged to Vietnamese and Cambodian Americans. (Source: Internet)

 

April, 2012

‘Bachelor’ race discrimination lawsuit filed. ABC and the producers of “The Bachelor” engaged in “purposeful discrimination” that has resulted in no black, Asian-American or Latino star in 23 editions of that show and “The Bachelorette,” lawyers for two rejected applicants said Wednesday as they filed a class-action suit in a federal court in Nashville, Tenn. (Source: Internet)

 

March, 2012

The United States Department of Labor has reached a $3 million settlement with the ground delivery unit of FedEx to resolve allegations that the company discriminated against 21,635 job seekers at two dozen FedEx facilities in 15 states. The Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs reached the agreement with FedEx Ground Package Systems after saying that it had found evidence of discrimination in hiring on the basis of sex, race and national origin. The office monitors employment practices at the nation’s 200,000 federal contractors, which employ roughly a fourth of the nation’s work force. Patricia A. Shiu, director of the contract compliance office, said it was her office’s largest settlement since 2004, when it reached a $5.5 million resolution with Wachovia after finding that more than 2,000 of the bank’s female workers had been underpaid. Ms. Shiu said her office first uncovered evidence of discrimination at FedEx seven years ago during a regularly scheduled review, finding discrimination against blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and Native Americans compared with similarly situated white applicants. She said women also faced discrimination and were sometimes automatically ruled out for posts requiring the lifting of heavy objects. Ms. Shiu said the evidence was based on not just statistical discrepancies, but also interviews with applicants and FedEx officials. “This agreement will make a difference not just at the affected facilities but throughout the country so that this kind of hiring discrimination doesn’t happen anymore,” she said.

 

February 3, 2012

Otyang v. City & County of San Francisco, a Chinese American filed a Civil Rights violation against CCSF in U.S. District Court of Northern California. (Source: Case # CV12-00577-MEJ, www.pacer.gov, Justia.com, Internet.)

 

2011

The class action lawsuits were filed Monday in Fresno Superior Court. Chang et al. v. Club One Casino was filed on behalf of 15 Asian workers alleging race and national origin discrimination, and Caglia et al. v. Club One Casino was filed on behalf of six older workers alleging age discrimination. The lawsuits allege that under Kirkland’s management, Club One sought to create a new image, one that excluded its Hmong and older workers even though many had been working at Club One for more than 10 years. Chang et al v. Club One Casino also alleges that the casino, as part of company-wide pattern of employment discrimination, targeted Hmong and other Asian employees with real or perceived accents. (Source: Internet.)

 

December, 2010

52 Filipino-American employees sue hospital for discrimination and harassment,  52 former and current Filipino-American hospital employees filed a lawsuit against their employer, Delano Regional Medical Center (“DRMC”) (located in the Central Valley, California) for discrimination and harassment on the basis of national origin. The complaint was filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of California last December 7, 2010. The complaint states that DRMC discriminated against its Filipino-American employees because of their national origin and subjected the Filipino-American workers to severe and pervasive workplace harassment. DRMC prohibited Filipino-American employees from speaking Tagalog and other Filipino languages under a broad-reaching, English-only policy. DRMC singled out only Filipino-American employees in enforcing the policy. DRMC reprimanded them, threatened to monitor them with audio surveillance and threatened to discipline and suspend employees who will be caught speaking Tagalog. Defendants also encouraged other employees to report Filipino-American employees to supervisors, which created tension and hostility among employees. Filipino-American employees were monitored, chastised and threatened by supervisors and other co-workers who constantly told them to speak English.  “DRMC enforced an overly restrictive and draconian English-only policy against only its Filipino-American employees that cannot be justified by a business necessity. As a result, DRMC created a workplace environment that was hostile towards its Filipino-American employees and unfortunately increased tensions between Filipino and non-Filipino employees,” said Julie A. Su, Litigation Director at APALC. According to EEOC, the hospital prohibited Filipino staff from speaking Tagalog while allowing non-Filipino employees to speak other languages, such as Spanish. “Employers must ensure that company policies are applied equally,” said Anna Park, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office. “Targeting workers of a particular national origin is not only illegal, it also erodes company morale – pitting groups against one another.” Wilma Lamug said other Filipino-Americans who are victims of discrimination should not be afraid to speak up. “Don’t keep your mouth shut. Seek help like we did,” Lamug said. Elnora Cayme added, “Huwag kayong matakot o mahiya (Don’t be afraid or embarrassed.) Speak up for your rights.” “An employer like DRMC with a diverse clientele should view an employee’s ability to speak another language as an asset, not a disadvantage. It is reprehensible that our clients were singled out for enforcement of the English only policy and harassed. Employers need to know that this type of discrimination and harassment on the basis of national origin is illegal,” said Carmina Ocampo , a staff attorney at APALC. “We hope this case encourages other immigrant workers to do as these workers did, and stand up publicly and demand their rights.” (Source: Internet.)

 

October 27, 2010

Kwong v. City & County of San Francisco, a Chinese American woman filed a Civil Rights lawsuit regarding discrimination and harassment due to race and gender. (Source: Case # CV10-04860, www.pacer.gov, Justia.com, Internet)

 

October 14, 2010

Asian Pacific American, et al., v. Newsom, et al., (City & County of San Francisco) On October 14, 2010, due to continued discrimination involving denial of promotions and retaliation, three Chinese Americans and a Pacific Islander woman filed racial discrimination lawsuit in U.S. District Court (SF/Oakland). (Source: Case #CV10-04641 PJH, www.pacer.gov; Justia.com; Internet, SF Weekly by Matt Smith, 10/19/2010.)

 

November, 2009

Judge dismisses lawsuit claiming Miley Cyrus’ picture discriminated against Asians, A judge today dismissed a discrimination lawsuit against Miley Cyrus that argued that Asians were harmed by a photo that showed the teen idol and her friends pulling back their eyelids. The novel legal claim was filed by Lucie J. Kim in a class action suit against the singer earlier this year that sought $4,000 in damages for each Asian and Pacific Islander living in Los Angeles County. The suit argued that Cyrus, 16, violated a state law that prohibits businesses from discriminating against people based on race, gender, ethnicity and other traits. Henry M. Lee, Kim’s attorney, said his client is considering appealing the case. The fact that the judge did not order Kim to pay the tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees Cyrus was seeking shows that the judge thought his client made a good-faith argument, Lee said. ( Source: Gossipteen.com, Internet.)

 

October 9, 2009

Hai T. Le v. Hilton Hotel, City & County of San Francisco et al., Vietnamese American filed a complaint of Civil Rights violation for discrimination in U.S District Court of Northern California. (Case # CV 09-04871 PJH, www.pacer.gov, Justia.com, Internet.)

 

October 23, 2009

Myrna Lim v. City & County of San Francisco et al., Plaintiff Myrna Lim is a Filipino American woman of Chinese descent, filed the Civil Rights action of discrimination against the City & County of San Francisco. (Source: Case # CV09-05083-CRB, www.pacer.gov, Justia.com, Internet)

 

October 10, 2008

A group of six (6) Asian American employees included three Chinese Americans, one Japanese American, one Asian Indian woman, and one Pacific Islander woman worked in the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department, City & County of San Francisco, California. They jointly filed a racial discrimination lawsuit as co-Plaintiffs in the U.S. District Court (SF/Oakland). (Source: Case # CV08-04702 PJH, www.pacer.gov, Justia.com, Internet)

 

2008

Korean dry cleaners in Atlanta sue gas marketer, They filed a federal lawsuit against Florida-based Infinite Energy this week, saying the marketer exploited the short-term price spike that followed 2005’s Hurricane Katrina to lock them into long-term contracts at an inflated price. It says Infinite misled and scared its customers about the cause and likely duration of the post-storm surge in wholesale gas prices. Korean cleaners make up more than half of the metro area’s estimated 1,400 cleaners. According to the lawsuit, the Korean Cleaners Association of Atlanta, a trade association that conducts business on behalf of participating Korean-owned dry cleaners, signed a three-year, fixed-price contract several weeks after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. As Katrina’s temporary effects on the gas market subsided, the lawsuit said, the cleaners began complaining that they were paying too much. The suit calls Infinite’s behavior an “unlawful scheme to steal millions” from customers. Filed by Byung Ho Cheoun, Shiraz Kurani and Hae Sook Chung, all of whom own and operate dry cleaning businesses, the lawsuit seeks damages of at least $5 million — a floor for getting class action designation. (Source: By Margaret Newkirk, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Wednesday, November 19, 2008. Internet.)

 

2005

Pearson v. Chung, better known as the “pants lawsuit”, is a civil case filed in 2005 by Roy L. Pearson, Jr., an administrative law judge in the District of Columbia in the United States, following a dispute with a dry cleaning company over a lost pair of trousers. Pearson filed suit against Soo Chung, Jin Nam Chung and Ki Y. Chung, the Korean owners of Custom Cleaners in Washington, D.C., initially demanding $67 million for inconvenience, mental anguish and attorney’s fees for representing himself, as a result of their failure, in Pearson’s opinion, to live up to a “satisfaction guaranteed” sign that was displayed in the store. Over time, the Chungs presented three settlement offers in the amounts of $3000, $4600, and $12000, all of which were rejected by Pearson. The case drew international attention when it went to trial in 2007 and has been held up as an example of frivolous litigation and the need for tort reform in the United States. Citing a loss of revenue and emotional strain from the lawsuit, the Chungs announced, on September 19, 2007, that they have closed and sold the dry cleaning shop involved in the dispute. (Source: Internet.)

 

2003

Abercrombie and Fitch Settles $40 Million Discrimination Suit, Civil rights attorneys today announced the settlement of a class action lawsuit, Gonzalez v. Abercrombie & Fitch, requiring the retail clothing giant to pay $40 million dollars to Latino, African American, Asian American and women applicants and employees who charged the company with discrimination. The settlement, approved this morning by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston, also requires the company to institute a range of policies and programs to promote diversity among its workforce and to prevent discrimination based on race or gender. The lawsuit was originally filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in June 2003 by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) and the law firm of Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann, & Bernstein, LLP, on behalf of nine young adults of color, including students and graduates of the University of California and Stanford, who were refused sales jobs or terminated based on their race or ethnicity. (Source: Internet.)

 

July 12, 2002

Turner Broadcasting System Inc. has been added to the list of defendants in a federal racial discrimination lawsuit filed by 12 former professional wrestlers against the company’s now-defunct World Championship Wrestling subsidiary. The wrestlers, all African-American or Asian, accuse the WCW and Turner of denying them the same opportunities for advancement available to white wrestlers and paying them less than white wrestlers. (Source: Internet)

 

June 4, 2002

Airline Face Suits , Five passengers who were removed from or prevented from boarding flights last year after the September 11 terror attacks filed suit [June 4] against four major U.S. airlines, accusing them of racial profiling and discrimination. The separate suits were filed against Continental, American, United and Northwest airlines in federal courts, respectively, in Newark, Baltimore, Los Angeles and San Francisco. All of the plaintiffs are of Middle Eastern or Asian descent who had passed through enhanced airport security checks. (Source: Internet.)

 

May 28, 2002

Judge Clears Way for Boeing Discrimination Suit — A Seattle judge granted class status to a group of Asian-American employees of Boeing Co. , clearing the way for a lawsuit seeking tens of millions over alleged discrimination, the plaintiffs’ lawyer said on Tuesday…The 55 initial plaintiffs are among some 1,500 Boeing engineers with ethnic ties to seven southern Asian countries who were unfairly denied pay raises and promotions, said their attorney. (Source: Internet.)

 

March 26, 2002

The nation’s three premier weapons laboratories (Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Sandia National Laboratories) have offered to change their hiring and promotion practices in exchange for the ending of a boycott by two Asian-American academic organizations, federal officials and the leader of the boycott said. (Source: Internet.)

 

January 17,2002

The National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium (NAPALC) joined the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and Service Employees International Union in a lawsuit that was filed today in the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California, challenging the new requirement of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, that all baggage screeners must be U.S. Citizens. (Source: Internet.)

 

1994

Ho v. San Francisco Unified School District, a class action filed in 1994, forced the San Francisco school district to stop its practice of classifying students by race for assignment to the city’s K-12 schools. San Francisco’s unconstitutional practice prevented many Chinese American children from attending their own neighborhood schools. The case was ultimately a success, bringing a halt to the school district’s use of race. Filed in 1994 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the case was bitterly fought through the courts for five years, including an interlocutory appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which established that the school district’s racial assignment plan would have to be examined under strict scrutiny—a test both the district court and the Ninth Circuit indicated it would almost certainly fail. See Ho v. San Francisco Unified Sch. Dist., 147 F.3d 854 (9th Cir. 1998). Finally, the defendants capitulated and agreed to a settlement by which they stopped their use of race. See Ho v. San Francisco Unified Sch. Dist., 59 F. Supp. 2d 1021 (N.D. Cal. 1999).Since that time, members of the Asian American Legal Foundation have carefully monitored the student assignment plans used by the San Francisco Unified School District, to ensure that students are never again classified by race for admission to the city’s schools. (Source: Internet.)

 

1970

The California State Fair Employment Practice Commission (FEPC) held hearing to investigate charges of job discrimination against Chinese and other Asian American, the first such hearing of its kind. That year, five Asian American health inspectors claimed to be victim of racial discrimination at the San Francisco department of public health. During the hearings, the Chinese American community learned that all five Asian inspectors had graduated from the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley, but several Caucasians promoted over them had earned nothing more than high school diplomas. (Source: Public Record)

 

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