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Litigation over train engineer's termination

Multiple jobs in California and other areas of the country require employers to make split-second decisions. In some cases, the worker is torn between potentially preventing a serious incident or causing damage to company property in an attempt to avoid an incident. A man in another state is now turning to litigation after he claims he was wrongfully terminated after he avoided a potentially serious accident.

The man began working for BNSF Railway Company, the defendant in the lawsuit, in 2002 and remained with BNSF until he was terminated in Aug. 2015. The month before his termination, he claims he was controlling a locomotive as he attempted to move several freight cars between yards. Unfortunately, he explains that when he applied an independent brake, nothing happened.

Grumpy Cat litigation leads to $710,000 award

When it comes to social media, it may be difficult to predict what exactly will attract attention and become a viral sensation. When such fame comes, however, many people in California must work hard to protect their property. For example, the owner of a cat -- known as Grumpy Cat -- turned to litigation after she claimed a company infringed on her copyright.

The cat, whose name is Tarder Sauce, began showing up in a variety of different places after she became famous on social media. Her pictures could be found on book of cat philosophy as well as calendars. In fact, she was included on the Forbes list of Top Influences.

Litigation: Man awarded $1.2 million for wrongful termination

People in California often have a path in life. For many, this includes going to work and doing the best they can while employed. Fortunately, should something unexpected occur -- such as an illness or injury -- they should be able to trust that their employers will make reasonable accommodations for them, including allowing them to take medical leave. If such accommodations are not allowed, workers have the option of seeking recourse through litigation under certain circumstances.

One man in another state chose to do so. He was reportedly employed as a data resources manager from 2004 to 2015. Unfortunately, in 2013 he experienced tumors in the nerves of his feet, leaving him in severe pain. After therapy failed, he underwent surgery. He notified his employer that he would need medical leave from work while he underwent and recovered from surgery; he claims that he notified his employer at the time that he would be spending part of his leave in Mexico as his family had already planned a trip.

Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Ed Sheeran part of copyright litigation

Musicians and writers in California and across the world work hard to create original works. Once they have done so, they typically want to ensure that their works are protected from copyright infringements. To do so, people must sometimes turn to litigation in order to protect their intellectual property.

In fact, two songwriters have recently filed a lawsuit as a result of a duet sung by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. The plaintiffs claim that the song "The Rest of Our Life" blatantly copies a song written by them called "When I Found You." The lawsuit asks for $5 million -- or more -- in damages in addition to an injunction.

PTSD diagnosis at center of pending lawsuit

Those who have a job related to public safety often have highly stressful positions. Even workers who answer 911 calls and dispatch emergency responders spend a great deal of their job hearing -- and sometimes experiencing trauma -- on calls. Unfortunately, a pending lawsuit claims that a city wrongfully terminated a woman who allegedly developed post-traumatic stress disorder after a particularly disturbing call.

The woman reportedly began working for the city as a public safety call taker in Feb. 2005. After briefly leaving the position in May 2010, she returned a year later, staying until March 2016 when she claims she was forced to resign. The lawsuit she filed in late Dec. 2017 alleges that while working as a dispatcher, she received a call from a man who admitted to shooting someone; during the call, she realized that the victim was her brother. The caller then took his own life.

Pending lawsuit against streaming service Spotify

Musicians and those who work to ensure that songs are heard by millions want to ensure that they are properly compensated for their efforts. While there are copyright laws to protect them, some people in California find that they have been the victim of a violation, potentially prompting litigation. In fact, streaming service Spotify now faces a pending lawsuit.

The lawsuit was recently filed by Wixen Music Publishing Inc in late December. Wixen holds an exclusive license to a variety of songs, including "(Girl We Got a) Good Thing" by Weezer, "Free Fallen" by Tom Petty and "Light My Fire" by the Doors as well as songs by Neil Young and Stevie Nicks, among others. The lawsuit makes several accusations against Spotify.

Litigation claiming retaliation results in $1.5 million award

Employees in California want to be judged and treated according to their abilities. If they have concerns about their treatment -- especially if certain actions may be a violation of law -- they should be able to have confidence in the fact that they will not face retaliation for discussing these concerns with the appropriate parties. Unfortunately, some are forced to seek alternative paths to justice, potentially including turning to litigation.

A man who works at a minimum-security prison in another state was recently awarded $1.5 million after he claims he was discriminated against and subjected to a hostile work environment. He further argues that he was retaliated against when he complained. He allegedly first became concerned when he says he was removed from a position only to be replaced by someone he deemed unqualified.

Litigation over pregnant California woman's termination

The attitude toward pregnant women in the workplace has changed drastically over the course of the last several decades. In fact, there are laws in place protecting women from discrimination based on their pregnancy. Unfortunately, many women still face persecution despite these laws. In fact, a California woman turned to litigation after she was terminated from her position at a storage facility.

The case involved a woman who was hired to work at a storage facility in Nov. 2010. However, she reportedly discovered she was pregnant several months later. She was warned by other co-workers that her boss -- the owner of the business -- would not be happy about her pregnancy, and she claims he did, in fact, react angrily to her news. While she declined to quit her position, he vowed to force her to quit. According to reports, he did not want to fire her because he did not want her to collect unemployment benefits.

Data shows harassment suits on the rise against employers

Here at LiLaw Inc., we represent both employers and employees in the Greater Gay Area in matters concerning illegal harassment in the workplace. Most prominent in the news, of course, is sexual harassment, but other types of harassment are also illegal such as those based on race, age, disability, religion and more. 

We advise California employers about how to prevent harassment in their workplaces, how to train personnel in that regard, how to draft employee handbooks and written policies, how to handle and investigate complaints and how to respond if claims alleging unlawful harassment at work are filed in federal or state agencies or courts.

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