BY: Tad T. Roumayah | IN: Employment Law
For Sommers Schwartz employment attorneys Tad Roumayah, Daniel Swanson, and Jenna Sheena, what a difference 48 hours makes. Recently, they secured two wrongful termination settlements totaling $1 million for two clients subjected to racial discrimination, sexual harassment, and whistleblower retaliation.
Firefighter Sexually Harassed by Her Department Chief
Tad and Jenna represented a plaintiff firefighter who had been employed by a local fire department for nearly 40 years, following in her father’s and grandfather’s footsteps. During her tenure, she worked as a firefighter, emergency medical technician, and secretary and performed her responsibilities in an exemplary manner.
The harassment began when the department appointed a new fire chief. According to the complaint, the chief blatantly harassed the plaintiff and other female employees by repeatedly viewing pornography on the job, masturbating in his office, and exposing his genitals. Despite the plaintiff’s multiple complaints about the fire chief’s blatant misconduct to two supervisors, the city clerk, and the sheriff’s department, no action was taken to stop the chief’s shockingly inappropriate behavior.
Instead, the plaintiff was unfairly disciplined in violation of department policy. The department placed her on a 90-day performance improvement plan (PIP) and, later, on an indefinite leave of absence which barred her from returning to work. She filed an administrative claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Sommers Schwartz employment attorneys Tad Roumayah and Jenna Sheena successfully negotiated a confidential settlement on behalf of the plaintiff firefighter before her lawsuit went to trial.
Black Procurement Executive Terminated for Doing the Right Thing
In the second case, Tad, Jenna, and Dan Swanson represented the plaintiff, a 59-year-old Black employee of a major manufacturing company. The plaintiff alleged that the company discriminated against him based on race when it fired him.
The plaintiff is a veteran who served with distinction and honor in the United States Marine Corps and National Guard. During his 19-year career with the company, the plaintiff was an exemplary employee receiving good performance evaluations, bonuses, and raises. The plaintiff had never been subject to any disciplinary action before his firing.
The plaintiff was employed as a senior buyer in the company’s purchasing department. The company embarked upon a multimillion-dollar construction project, and the plaintiff was the buyer assigned to oversee the contractor bidding process. In accordance with the company’s standard procedures, four general contractors were requested to submit bids. The contractors provided the plaintiff with detailed preliminary bids, which he analyzed. The bids were confidential and only to be reviewed by the plaintiff. Certain company executives, violating corporate policy, sought to persuade the plaintiff to forego the competitive bid process and award the contract to a favored general contractor. The plaintiff refused, and further, he took extra precautions to assure that the bidding was confidential, fair, and impartial.
The plaintiff recommended that the low bidder be awarded the construction contract. The low bidder was not the contractor favored by certain Company executives, and those executives rejected the plaintiff’s recommendation and violated corporate policy by awarding the bid to their favored contractor. In addition, the company executives retaliated against the plaintiff by having him fired for allegedly violating corporate practices in the bidding process.
Only three years earlier, when a senior buyer who was white was found to have committed serious and ongoing violations of corporate bidding practices, the company removed him from the job and promoted him to another position within the company. Finally, the company selected a white person to replace the plaintiff as a senior buyer.
The plaintiff claimed that the company discriminated against him on the basis of race by firing him while the company retained and promoted a comparable employee who committed numerous serious violations of corporate policies.
During the nearly five years before the case was successfully resolved, the plaintiff could not find similar work and started his own company, where he earned significantly less than he had with the manufacturer.
Tad, Daniel, and Jenna successfully negotiated a confidential settlement for the plaintiff before his lawsuit went to trial.
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Tad Roumayah focuses his practice primarily on employment litigation, representing employees who have encountered discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge, whistleblower protection claims, wage and hour violations and other employment issues and disputes.