Employment Law Cases of Note

Shephard v. Lowe’s HIW, Inc.
USDC Northern District of California
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, along with Block & Leviton filed a lawsuit against Lowe’s HIW, Inc. (“Lowe’s”) on June 15, 2012 alleging that Lowe’s misclassified all California installers as independent contractors in violation of California law. The Honorable Jeffrey S. White granted Plaintiff’s Motion for Class Certification in August 2013, certifying the class of California installers and appointing Block & Leviton and Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy as class counsel. The Firms successfully achieved a $6.5 million settlement on behalf of the class of California installers, which was preliminarily approved on June 25, 2014 and is awaiting final approval.  For more information regarding the settlement, please click HERE.

Cozzitorto et al. v. AAA
Contra Costa County Superior Court
CPM represent a class of Northern Californian tow truck companies in a lawsuit against AAA for its wrongful misclassification of road side service providers as independent contractors as well as for breach of contract.  CPM’s lawsuit alleges that AAA exerts total control over every manner of the towing business, and even requires tow companies to incur high costs to obtain AAA compliant vehicles, uniforms and equipment.  The class action complaint was filed on December 19, 2013 in the Superior Court of Contra Costa County. 

Avery v. Integrated Heatlhcare Holdings, Inc.
Orange County Superior Court
CPM served as co-lead counsel in a class action lawsuit filed against the IHHI chain of hospitals in Southern California.  CPM represented registered nurses and respiratory therapists who were not paid overtime wages in accordance with state law.  The case settled for $14.5M in 2013, and the court granted final approval of the settlement in August 2014.  

Los Angeles Times / Zell
USDC Northern District of Illinois
CPM successfully represented current and former journalists of the Los Angeles Times in a lawsuit filed against Sam Zell, the Tribune Company and others for a breach of their fiduciary duties, violating ERISA, improper valuation and misuse of employee pension fund assets and conflicts of interest. Other allegations included that Tribune Company employees, who technically own the company through the Tribune ESOP, had been damaged by the go-private transaction and by the subsequent mismanagement and self-dealings of Tribune executives, including Sam Zell, the result of which had been to diminish the value and the products of the employee-owned company.  CPM received approval for a $32 million settlement for the employees' retirement plan.

Cynthia Sotelo, et al. v. MediaNews Group, Inc., et al.
Alameda County Superior Court
CPM represented a class of Hispanic newspaper carriers whose labor was exploited by the ANG Newspaper Group, a media conglomerate.

In re: Wachovia Securities, LLC, Wage and Hour Litigation
USDC Central District of California
CPM was designated co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel by a federal judge in a collection of lawsuits filed against Wachovia Securities, LLC, on behalf of more than 10,000 current and former stock brokers who were not paid in accordance with state and federal law.

In re: AXA Wage and Hour Litigation
USDC Northern District of California
CPM was appointed co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel by a federal judge in a collection of lawsuits filed against the AXA family of insurance companies on behalf of more than 7,000 current and former financial sales representatives who were not paid in accordance with state and federal law.

Shriger v. Advanced Equities Inc. ("AEI") et al.
San Francisco County Superior Court
CPM represented an employee of a broker dealer in state court litigation over harassment and compensation claims. 

Sullivan v. Advanced Equities Inc. ("AEI")
FINRA Arbitration
CPM successfully represented an employee in FINRA arbitration.  The FINRA panel found that the employer had falsely accused the employee of violations of company policy and had fraudulently induced the employe to join the company, and awarded both compensatory and punitive damages.  This is one of many examples of cases CPM has handled before FINRA.