MAJOR VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS
MAJOR VERDICTS AND SETTLEMENTS
San Francisco, California, [April 22, 2021] — Prominent Plaintiffs’ law firms Medina Orthwein LLP and Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP announced today that Plaintiffs have reached an agreement with Defendants Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., and the Southern California Permanente Medical Group (collectively, “Kaiser Permanente”), in which Kaiser Permanente will pay $11.5 million to settle a class action race discrimination lawsuit. The settlement covers approximately 2,225 African American employees in two job families (Administrative Support and Consulting services) at each of the Kaiser Permanente entities.
In addition to monetary relief, Kaiser Permanente agrees to institute comprehensive workplace programs to ensure that African American employees’ compensation and opportunities for advancement are fair and equitable.
Plaintiffs’ counsel Felicia Medina, founding partner of Medina Orthwein LLP stated, “This settlement is a tribute to the fortitude and resilience the Plaintiffs exercised throughout this lengthy, hard process where, for the good of the class, they told their truths and demanded change. The settlement reflects Kaiser Permanente’s willingness to listen to its employees, and should serve as a model for other corporations that truly desire to reckon with this country’s racially unjust past and ongoing systemic issues.”
SAN MATEO, CA — On Tuesday, March 30, a California judge approved a $450,000 settlement in a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of female employees of Covenant Aviation Security at San Francisco International airport (SFO), who were allegedly denied reasonable accommodations and forced into premature leave when they became pregnant, in violation of state and federal laws.
Plaintiffs Candice Branner and Shauna Devore, represented by attorneys from Equal Rights Advocates, Valerian Law, and Medina Orthwein LLP, pursued claims on behalf of a class of 41 other women working for Covenant between 2016 and 2018. In addition to the monetary relief for these workers, the settlement will result in significant changes to Covenant’s policies, procedures, and training to ensure equity and accommodation for pregnant workers that will benefit thousands of current and future employees.
“Being a mother is what inspired me to bring this case,” said plaintiff Shauna Devore. “My motive in life as a mother is to come up with ways to make things better and to fight for what I care about the most. Moving forward with this case allowed me to join together with others to do this, which is inspiring.”
On May 14, 2019, Medina Orthwein LLP and Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP announced the pre-suit settlement of a gender discrimination class and collective action lawsuit against Western Digital Corporation and Western Digital Technologies, Inc. The lawsuit alleges discrimination against women in pay, promotions, and job placement on behalf of all women employed by Western Digital in an indirect labor position at or below the Senior Manager level.
This class settlement was approved by the court on January 6, 2021. Western Digital will make a non-reversionary payment of $7.75 million. The majority of this fund will be distributed to a class of female employees.
“This is a huge step forward to achieving gender equity in tech, which is long overdue,” said Felicia Medina, founding partner of Medina Orthwein. “We are proud to support the women who came forward to advocate for equal pay in tech and to speak about their experiences. Pre-suit class settlement is no easy feat, but with the right elements it can be accomplished. We also want to acknowledge the plaintiffs in the Qualcomm gender discrimination lawsuit we did in 2017 for paving the way for the Western Digital case.”
In addition to the $7.75 million payment, the settlement also requires Western Digital to institute comprehensive programmatic relief designed to ensure equity, objectivity, and transparency in pay and promotions for women at the company. The measures include creating a plan to increase the number of women hired and promoted to leadership, educating employees on non-discrimination policies, conducting gender equity statistical analyses , and revamping the company’s internal complaint procedures. Western Digital will also appoint an internal compliance monitor, who will ensure the implementation and compliance with the settlement agreement and provide reports to the attorneys representing the class.
MAJOR VERDICTS AND SETTLEMENTS
Medina Orthwein LLP attorneys have litigated, settled, and worked on a number of matters against major companies across various industries, including the following:
- Technology and telecommunications: Google, Qualcomm, Genentech, Western Digital, Cisco Systems, Comcast, AT&T
- Media conglomerates: Viacom, Black Entertainment Television, Publicis Groupe
- Art/Theater: American Conservatory Theater
- Medical and pharmaceutical: Alcon, Novartis International, Daiichi Sankyo, Merck & Co., Pfizer, Gilead, Sanofi, Boston Scientific
- Consulting: KPMG
- Transportation: AC Transit
- Hospitality: Wyndham Hotels and Resorts