DOCTOR WHO Actor Accused of of Sexual Harassment on Set

DOCTOR WHO Actor Accused of of Sexual Harassment on Set

The Guardian recently reported that the Noel Clarke saga is continuing at a rapid pace. Over 20 women have accused the British actor and screenwriter of bullying and sexual harassment dating back to 2004. Some of the most recent claims came from women who had worked on the set of the Doctor Who show from 2004 to 2019 and include sexual comments on the set, inappropriate touching, and bullying and aggressive behavior when his advances were not received well. Clarke played the role of Mickey Smith, a vehicle technician, in the series from 2005 to 2010.

Clarke Denies Allegations

Clarke has never changed his position.  In a letter released by his sexual-harassment attorney, Clarke continues to zealously refute all allegations of wrongdoing, including any type of bullying or aggressive behavior.  In a somewhat contradictory statement, he also said that he plans to seek professional help for his behavior.

Two weeks before Clarke was to receive a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (“BAFTA”) for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, multiple anonymous tips were received from the BBC from women alleging assault and sexual harassment in various ways, and in different professional settings. Since then, continuous allegations are being made, including statements made by crew members of the Doctor Who show who claim that Clarke has a history of this type of behavior.Noel Clarke

John Barrowman, Fellow Doctor Who Actor, Also Accused of Sexual Harassment

During all the drama, sexual-harassment attorneys have discovered that another cast member of the show, actor John Barrowman, was also accused of harassing coworkers on two separate occasions during productions. Several coworkers claim Barrowman exposed himself to them during production. The report on Barrowman characterizes the incidents as “inappropriate pranks,” as opposed to sexually aggressive behavior. Barrowman himself described them in a statement as “tomfoolery” and insisted that his actions were never meant to be seen as sexual in nature. He also said he had no knowledge of the allegations against Clarke.

After the first accusations were made last week against Clarke, a video surfaced that showed him exchanging jokes with Barrowman concerning inappropriate conduct in the workplace.

John Barrowman

BAFTA Had Prior Knowledge of Accusations

The original report established that BAFTA was aware of the sexual harassment allegations before they recently bestowed the award on Clarke. However, the organization said that they took no action because evidence was lacking and there was nothing to prompt their own investigation.

The BBC Responds

The BBC expressed their shock at the allegations and said that all of them will be investigated. They also encouraged any witnesses to speak to them concerning any type of inappropriate behavior they may have witnessed. The accusations against Clarke prompted 900 people to sign a letter demanding culture change in the workplace, and accusing the industry of turning a blind eye to harassers and predators who operate in plain view.

It is not yet known if the allegations against Clarke will be substantiated, or if any cases will go to trial. Anyone who has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace should contact an employment attorney in Orange County for professional advice.

 

 

New York Governor Accused of Sexual Abuse

New York Governor Accused of Sexual Abuse

Andrew Cuomo, New York Governor, has been accused of sexual harassment by a former aide, who has referred to him as “a textbook abuser.” Cuomo’s former Health Policy Advisor and Executive Assistant, Charlotte Bennett, told CBS Evening News that the governor tried to proposition her for sex last spring, during what she described as a very uncomfortable encounter. She stated that she remembered thinking she needed to get out of the room as soon as possible because the governor was “propositioning [ … her] for sex.”

Bennett claimed it was one of many incidents in which Cuomo, who is 63 years old, acted inappropriately. Cuomo is facing similar charges from two other women. The former Chief of Staff of the Economic Agency in New York, Lindsey Boylan, said the governor inappropriately touched and kissed her during a private meeting. Another accuser, Anna Ruch, who, unlike the other two women, did not work for Cuomo, stated that he put his hand on her bare lower back in 2019 at a friend’s wedding.

Andrew Cuomo

Photo by Andrew Kelly – Reuters

Bennett Calls the Governor “a Textbook Abuser”

Bennett described Cuomo as “a textbook abuser” who allows his temper and anger to run the workplace, although she said he was very sweet to her for approximately a year. Bennett contends Cuomo only acted this way in the hopes of becoming more than her friend. Bennett claims the governor constantly questioned her about her history as a survivor of sexual assault and repeatedly asked questions about her current love life. She said that she believes abusers look for previous traumas or other vulnerabilities in those they target, as those who have such a history may view a harasser’s behavior as acceptable.

Bennett’s Attorney Contradicts Cuomo’s Statements

In a statement to Law and Crime, Debra Katz, Bennett’s sexual harassment attorney, alleged that Cuomo’s press conference was full of lies and inaccurate information, particularly when he stated that he never meant to harm anyone and that he was embarrassed to discover that he made anyone uncomfortable.

Katz went on to say that Bennett reported the alleged harassment immediately to the governor’s chief of staff and chief counsel, and she believes further investigation will prove that both failed to act in Bennett’s best interests and that this was a violation of their legal duty. The governor maintains whatever happened was not intentional on his part and he was unaware he was acting inappropriately.

Lindsey Boylan, who was first to come forward with sexual harassment allegations, tweeted to the governor asking him how the people of New York could trust him if he was unaware that he was being inappropriate with his own staff. Boylan accused the governor of harassment during multiple incidents over the course of two years, which included the governor kissing her on the lips without her consent.

All claims of sexual harassment are being investigated by Letitia James, New York’s Attorney General. Those who believe they have been victims of harassment, or who have been falsely accused of such activity, should consult an employment attorney in Orange County for advice and guidance.

 

 

Five Female Journalists Accuse Angels’ Pitching Coach of Sexual Harassment

Five Female Journalists Accuse Angels’ Pitching Coach of Sexual Harassment

Allegations of sexual harassment are once again dogging professionals in the world of sports. On Tuesday, multiple accusations of inappropriate behavior were made against Mickey Callaway, the former manager of the New York Mets. Callaway was expected to serve as the pitching coach for the Los Angeles Angels until his recent suspension.

Mickey Callaway AP Photo Greg Beacham

Mickey Callaway – AP Photo/Greg Beacham

Bombshell Report of Alleged Sexual Harassment

The Athletic published a story on Monday in which five female journalists accused Callaway of a broad range of inappropriate behavior, from continuous lewd text messages to sharing shirtless photos and requesting explicit photos back from the women he was texting. He reportedly also offered to share baseball related information if a woman “got drunk” with him. These incidents allegedly took place when he was manager of the New York Mets.

Callaway was suspended by the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, and Marie Garvey, spokesperson for the team, said they plan to work with Major League Baseball in an ongoing investigation. She stated that the reported behavior violates the values and policies of the Angels Organization. MLB stated that they never knew about any accusations against Callaway.

Callaway was formerly the pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians, and allegations of harassment and inappropriate behavior span his last three jobs, dating back to 2013. Following two seasons as Mets’ manager, the 45-year-old Callaway was hired as pitching coach for the Angels in October 2019.

An anonymous accuser told The Athletic that Callaway was constantly preying on women, and certain people described his behavior as an open secret within the game. Nevertheless, it appears that Callaway rarely had trouble finding desirable jobs in his field.

Alderson Appalled, But Callaway Maintains Innocence

According to Yahoo News, Sandy Alderson, Mets’ General Manager, stated that he was appalled when he first heard about the allegations and said he was not aware of this pattern of behavior, nor had he previously heard of any of the conduct described by the five journalists.

He stated that a review of their current hiring process is underway to make sure that a more comprehensive and thorough vetting of new employees is done in the future. Callaway, who may decide to seek the advice of an employment attorney in Orange County or elsewhere, stated that his conduct was not intended to be disrespectful, and that the relationships he was engaged in were consensual. The former pitching coach is married with children and stated that his wife had been made aware of the journalists’ accusations.

LA Angels response to Mike Callaway

Twitter Response from Los Angles Angels

Women Warned About Callaway’s Behavior

The five women did not say whether or not they had hired a sexual harassment attorney, but two of them indicated that they were warned in advance about Callaway’s behavior by people who worked in baseball, as well as by some of their colleagues in the media world.

Callaway was not the only Mets’ high ranking employee to find himself accused of sexual harassment in recent months.  As Yahoo News reported, Jared Porter was fired by the New York Mets on January 19 after the release of an ESPN report in which he was accused of aggressively harassing a foreign reporter with explicit photos and unwanted advances. He was fired only 37 days after being hired.

It remains to be seen if Callaway will be charged with any type of sexual harassment, or what the accusations will mean for his career in the future.

 

Retail Giant H&M Settles Class-Action Suit for $3.8 Million

Retail Giant H&M Settles Class-Action Suit for $3.8 Million

Retail Giant H&M Settles Class-Action Suit for $3.8 Million

Retail giant H&M plans to pay a settlement of $3.8 million to refute allegations that off-the-clock work is not paid for by the company. The amount will be distributed to H&M employees who were allegedly affected by the establishment’s conduct regarding this matter. A portion of the money will also go to California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and toward employment attorneys’ fees. The settlement now awaits preliminary approval from United States District Judge Edward J. Davila.

H&M and the employees involved in the class-action lawsuit agreed to settle the dispute so that the costs and risks of continued litigation could be avoided. Workers involved in the lawsuit stated they believe the compensation offered in the settlement was fair.

Why the Plaintiffs Would Rather Settle Versus Litigate

Employees explained some of the reasoning behind their willingness to make the motion requesting approval of the settlement rather than continuing to litigate. For most workers involved in the suit, their hesitancy to continue litigating stemmed from concerns about the ultimate cost of trying the case, as well as the possibility, however slight, that they might lose.

For example, one of the complaints they feared might fail in court was their issue with the company’s policy requiring them to complete a security check when their shifts commenced. With regard to wage and hour violations, compensation for the security check could go either way during a trial. If this were the case, it would likely be due to the “de minimis rule” of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which prohibits employees from suing over minuscule amounts of unpaid time that are so short that it is viewed as unreasonable to expect compensation.  California law, however, is generally more liberal than the Fair Labor Standards Act, finding such time to be compensable in most instances.

How Settlement Funds Are Distributed

According to employment attorneys in Orange County, the terms of the H&M wage settlement state that the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency will be paid $75,000 of the $3.8 million, and $41,750 will go to administrative funds. Attorneys’ fees will be approximately $1.27 million, $250,000 is earmarked for legal costs, and workers will receive $15,000 each.

Class Certification Awarded Despite H&M’s Attempt to Prevent It

The class-action lawsuit brought forth by the retailer’s employees survived the company’s attempt to stop workers from gaining class certification. This failed for some claims, but the plaintiffs were ultimately granted class certification. Employees asked Judge Davila for certification of a group of H&M workers who have worked for the retailer since the fall of 2019 and are not exempt from overtime.

The Gray Area of Before-and-After Duties

Employees who perform shift work may encounter tasks before and after their designated start and end time, and some companies may attempt to circumvent payment for such duties. These include those listed in the class-action suit against H&M. Other examples include the time it takes for a person to change into a uniform. If it is essential to the principal activities of their employment, workers must be compensated for the time it takes to don the uniform, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”).

Not all jobs require one to perform duties prior to the start and following the end of a shift; however, federal law requires employees to be paid for many tasks that are outside their typical shift or duties, but nonetheless mandatory. For example, in certain industries, workers may have to attend meetings or participate in trainings. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay workers for lectures and training as well as additional activities, provided they are job-related and mandatory.  California employees may be able to receive compensation for such pre and post shift tasks even if the time is “de minimus” as California law follows a different standard than the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.  An employment attorney is the best person to speak to if a worker has questions about wage and hour violations or other work-related issues.

H&M Retail

Source Article: https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/employment-labor/hm-settles-wage-and-hour-class-action-for-3-8m

 

 

X-Rated Zoom Call Incident Leads to Jeffrey Toobin’s Untimely Termination

X-Rated Zoom Call Incident Leads to Jeffrey Toobin’s Untimely Termination

Our employment attorneys in Orange County have learned that The New Yorker has terminated Jeffrey Toobin’s employment after an investigation concerning a Zoom call incident that took place last month. During the call, Toobin inadvertently exposed himself to colleagues during a break in the show. He announced his own termination on Wednesday on Twitter, and wrote that he was fired as a staff writer after having spent 27 years at The New Yorker. A spokesperson for the magazine confirmed Toobin’s statement to Variety, simply stating that Toobin was no longer affiliated with the company as a result of their investigation. 

jeffrey-toobin

CNN Screenshot

Initial Suspension After Zoom Incident

The New Yorker revealed that on October 19th, Toobin was suspended after exposing himself on a Zoom call with WNYC and some of his New Yorker colleagues. Vice’s tech news website, Motherboard, alleged that during the call Toobin was seen masturbating. Toobin made a statement to Motherboard in which he referred to the incident as “an embarrassingly stupid mistake.” He went on to apologize to his coworkers, friends, family and wife, stating that he thought he was off-camera, and therefore not visible or audible to anyone.

Statements Made to VICE

Two individuals on the call made separate statements to VICE, stating that the call was a simulation of the election, and featured some of The New Yorker’s biggest stars: establishment Republicans were played by Jane Mayer, Joe Biden was played by Evan Osnos, Masha Gessen played Donald Trump, Jelani Cobb played establishment Democrats, Sue Halpern was left wing democrats and Andrew Marantz played the far right. The military was played by Dexter Filkins and Jeffrey Toobin played the courts. Also on the call were several other producers from WNYC and The New Yorker. 

Both individuals who spoke to VICE did so under the condition of anonymity, and it was unclear how much was visible to each person, but both said that it was obvious to them that Toobin was masturbating. It occurred at a juncture in the election simulation during which a strategy session was underway. The “Republicans and the Democrats” dispersed to their respective rooms for approximately ten minutes. They said at this point it appeared as if Toobin was on another video call and that when the groups returned from their break out rooms, he could be seen touching himself. 

Following this incident Toobin left the call, then a few minutes later called back in, but seemed entirely unaware of what had been visible to his co-workers in the meantime. The group then continued with the simulation. On the 19th of October, Natalie Raabe–a spokesperson for The New Yorker–said that Jeffrey Toobin was suspended, and that the matter was being investigated. It is not clear whether or not the incident was directly referred to as sexual misconduct by anyone at The New Yorker, but not all comments were made public.

Career Highlights

Toobin wrote “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson” in 1996, which was eventually adapted by FX to become part of “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” a true-crime series. Toobin is also a chief legal analyst for the cable news channel, CNN. Following the incident, he was granted time off and took a leave of absence. His status at CNN is not yet clear. CNN simply stated that they had approved his request for time off “to deal with a personal issue.”

A source told Motherboard that WNYC instructed staffers to refrain from booking Toobin on its shows or allowing him to work in any other professional capacity with the network. However, WNYC declined to comment, as did Kritsitne Dahl, the latter of whom is Tobin’s literary agent. No sexual harassment charges have been filed and it is not yet clear if Toobin will seek the advice of employment attorneys.