Chicago Bar-tender

Retaliation Archives

Chicago Teachers Union member: Silenced by CTU Pres. Stewart

A member of the Chicago Teachers Union says he was denied the right to speak at a CTU meeting and was suspended without pay in retaliation for attempting to run against Marilyn Stewart for the position of union president.

Ted Hajiharis says that on January 14, 2010, he attended a House of Delagates meeting where he "attempted to speak about important union business," that Stewart was in violation of the rules and by-laws by prohibiting a run off candidate from speaking with voters, but he was prevented from exercising his right to speak at the meeting. 

The complaint states that prior to the meeting, "defendants became suspicious that Hajiharis was going to run for the office of president of the CTU."

Continue reading after the jump, including a copy of the complaint.

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Sauk Village P.O.: Denied promo for refusal to discriminate

A Sauk Village police officer says he was denied a promotion because he complained of excessive discipline being given to an African-American officer.

Brian Lesniak says that in September of 2007 he was assigned to work with an African-American officer who had just returned from maternity leave and was "instructed not to teach [her] anything, but to document any mistakes she made."

The complaint states that Lesniak refused to engage in the selective rule enforcement against the officer and had verbal disagreements with his supervisors about it and, as a result, was denied a promotion to Sergeant in January of 2008.

Continue reading after the jump, including a copy of the complaint.

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Vietnam vet sues IL Dept of Transportation for disability discrimination

A Vietnam vet and former Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) employee is suing IDOT for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when they refused to reassign him after his post-traumatic stress disorder was worsened from responding to car accidents and severely injured victims.

Fred J. Zimmerman says that he began his employment with IDOT in May of 2006 as a highway maintainer but was transferred to emergency traffic patrol (ETP), which required him to "respond to and clean up fatal car accidents and dead bodies."

Zimmerman's treating physician determined that his work in ETP severely exacerbated his post-traumatic stress disorder and he made a request in writing supported by medical opinion for a reasonable accommodation that Zimmerman be transferred to another position.

Continue reading after the jump, including a copy of the complaint.

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Lawsuit: Sexual harassment at Planet Honda in Matteson

A female employee at Planet Honda in Matteson says she was subjected to a hostile work environment.

Michele Scharwatz says that the following occurred:
- male employees including a supervisor repeatedly used the word "Fuck" in a variety of forms and adjectives related to sexual content;
- her supervisor asked her out for drinks and attempted to engage her in conversations of a personal nature including who he was sleeping with and who his wife thought he was sleeping with at work, including conversations with Scharwatz that occurred in an office with a door he had closed;
- her supervisor said he was dreaming about her and that he knew she wanted to be with him;
- her supervisor showed her a sexually graphic photograph.

According to the complaint, when Scharwatz complained to her superiors, she was moved to a different job, demoted and received less compensation.

Read the complaint after the jump.

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Lawsuit: Merrill Lynch favors male employees

A former Merrill Lynch financial advisor is suing the financial services firm for alleged gender discrimination.

Patti Lent says that since joining the firm in 2006, she experienced the following:

- Trainees were required to gather $1.5M in client assets in order to qualify for the "Paths of Achievment" training program and could not use assets transferred from a mentor.  However, male trainees did just that while Lent's attempt to do the same was denied.
- Male financial advisors invited male trainees to join their men's bible study group that met in the cafeteria.  The male financial advisors in the group transferred accounts to the trainees in the group against firm policy but which policy was never monitored for compliance by the firm.
- The firm did nothing in response to Lent's complaints about violations of account transfer policies.
- Lacking account distributions, walk-ins, call-ins and managerial support afforded to her male counterparts, Lent did not meet firm requirements and was terminated.
- News of Lent's termination circulated on a day when she was out sick and male employees rifled through her papers and took two of her chairs.
- It is the practice of the firm to pay men through the end of the month of termination but the firm refused to extend this courtesy to Lent.

Read the complaint after the jump.

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Discrimination forced Mexican man to quit

A man of Mexican national origin is suing his former employer for discrimination, which he says included being called a "stupid Mexican" and being threatened with physical violence.

Juan Miramontes was a mechanic for Great Kitchens and was promoted after less than a year with the company but he says he was subjected to discrimination when the following occurred during the course of his employment:

- Robert Aleman, a mechanic of Honduran national origin, made comments to Miramontes such as "stupid Mexican" and "Mexicans don't know what the f-ck they're doing around here."
- Aleman said "I've never cowered down from a Mexican and I never will and if any of you guys want to prove it let's go."
- Aleman approached Miramontes and two other Mexican mechanics and "poked one in the buttocks simulating anal rape."
- Aleman instigated racially motivated violence against Mexican employees and then bragged about it. 
- Aleman threatened to "'kick' Plaintiff's 'ass'" and followed Miramontes around after his shift ended and made threats of physical violence.
- Aleman "violently grabbed Plaintiff, pulled Plaintiff toward Aleman and kissed Plaintiff on the lips." 

Continue reading after the jump, including a copy of the complaint. 

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