San Diego Sexual Harassment

San Diego Sexual Harassment

Category : Uncategorized

Case: Jane Doe I and Jane Doe II v. Roe Specialty Pharmacy

Court: Superior Court of Orange County

Judge: Linda S. Marks

Date: September 10, 2010

Recovery: Hogue & Belong obtained a $295,000 settlement against Roe Specialty Pharmacy.

Facts and Allegations

Roe Specialty Pharmacy had a group of Territory Managers that would promote the Pharmacy and related services.  Territory Managers worked predominantly out of the office.  On occasion, Territory Managers would attend special events and have to do one-on-one “ride alongs” with his or her supervisor.

Jane Doe I was hired by Roe Specialty Pharmacy as a Territory Manager.  Supervisor A supervised Jane Doe I without incident.  Approximately five months later, Roe Specialty Pharmacy changed Jane Doe I’s supervisor to Supervisor B.  From the beginning, Supervisor B would send Jane Doe I inappropriate text messages repeatedly asking for Jane Doe I to give him massages as well as repeatedly asking her to go out for drinks with him.  Supervisor B would send text messages to Jane Doe I with innuendos that he was masturbating and that he and Jane I were going to have sexual intercourse.  Jane Doe I tried her best to keep Supervisor B at bay by either ignoring these text messages all together or changing the subject back to business when responding.  This went on for about four months.

Jane Doe I was called into a meeting at Starbucks with Supervisor B and his boss, the Vice President.  The Vice President terminated Jane Doe I’s employment, offered her a small severance if she signed a severance agreement that prevented any actions against the Pharmacy, and asked for the company cell phone that contained all the text messages from Supervisor B back.  Jane Doe I said she left the phone at home, and refused to sign the severance agreement.  Supervisor B and the Vice President suggested that they follow Jane Doe I home so that she could obtain the phone.  Jane Doe I declined.

Approximately one year later after Jane Doe I filed suit, Jane Doe II made a claim that she was also sexually harassed by Supervisor B.  Among other things, Supervisor B would text message Jane Doe II asking what she was doing over the weekend.  Supervisor B also held Jane Doe II’s hand against her will. Jane Doe II complained about Supervisor B to the Vice President and to the President of Roe Specialty Pharmacy.  Nothing was done.  Jane Doe II and Supervisor B were both married.  Jane Doe II’s complaint about Supervisor B’s harassment came several months before Supervisor B harassed Jane Doe I.

Orange County CLASS ACTION Lawyer


Orange County CLASS ACTION Lawyer | Hogue & Belong Law

Case: Wolfe v. A-Med Health Care, Inc. (Case No. 30-2010-00423004-CU-OE-CXC)

Court: Superior Court of Orange County – Complex Division

Judge: David Velasquez, Ronald Bauer, and Steven Perk

Date: November 5, 2010

Recovery: Hogue & Belong obtained a settlement of $140,000 against A-Med Health Care.

Facts & Allegations

A-Med Health Care is a Specialty Pharmacy.  It employs approximately 300 employees.  A-Med Health Care also employs 8-10 Territory Managers at any one time to promote the services A-Med’s pharmacy provides. A-Med classified the Territory Managers as “exempt” from the labor code.

Orange County CLASS ACTION LawyerThe Territory Managers are assigned specific territories and visit various health care providers in those assigned territories to promote what A-Med offers in the hopes that these health care providers would start using and directing its patients to use A-Med’s services. The Territory Managers passed out pre-approved marketing materials, and would have little knick-knacks to pass out during these visits.  Also, Territory Managers would attend certain patient events, such as Cystic Fibrosis Walks to promote A-Med’s services.  The Territory Managers would pass out little sundries, like, for instance, water bottles with the A-Med logo on it.

Wolfe argued that the Territory Managers were “non-exempt” under the labor code and applicable wage statement.  A-Med argued that they were exempt under the Outside Salesperson or the Administrative Exemption.

The Court certified the class action, and the case settled shortly thereafter. learn more

Best San Diego SEXUAL Harassment Lawyers

Category : Uncategorized

Best San Diego SEXUAL Harassment Lawyers | Hogue & Belong Law

Case: Drieslein v. San Diego State University Foundation, Ray DiCiccio, et al. consolidated for discovery purposes with Claypool v. San Diego State University Foundation, Ray DiCiccio, et al. (Case Nos. 30-2010-00104305-CU-OE-CTL; and 37-2011-00099344-CU-OE-CTL)

Court: Superior Court of San Diego

Judge: Joel M. Pressman

Date: November 17, 2010

Recovery:    Hogue & Belong was able to secure a $287,222 settlement against San Diego State University Foundation and Ray DiCiccio.

Facts & Allegations

Patricia Drieslein and June Claypool were both employees at San Diego State University Fondation working on a long-term alcohol prevention grant.  San Diego State University Foundation is a non-profit corporation  that sponsors government  funded  grants.

Their supervisor, Ray DiCiccio, constantly flirted with both plaintiffs.  He constantly made comments such as “Boy you look hot today,” “how are my wounded birds,” “You’re a single mom who can’t do anything right,” and “You owe me, given our history together” – referring to his previous sexual advances toward one of the plaintiffs.  He would also massage their shoulders and the shoulders of other female co-workers in the office.  Ray DiCiccio would also touch their thighs and knees in the office.  He had also asked about their sex life under the guise that he was a trained counselor who just wanted to help.

During the weekend, he made a home trip to one of the plaintiff’s homes to discuss a business plan.  Shortly after his arrival he asked for a massage.  He then asked to see this plaintiff’s breasts.  Ray DiCiccio was married to another San Diego State University employee at the time.

Whenever the plaintiffs resisted and rebuffed Mr. DiCiccio’s sexual advances, he would threaten their jobs. The human resources department at San Diego State University and Ray DiCiccio’s boss, John Clapp, claimed to have no knowledge of Ray DiCiccio’s activities, so his conduct continued unabated.

Ray DiCiccio’s treatment of the plaintiffs became so intolerable that they were forced to resign.  Plaintiff Patricia Drieslein resigned in May 2009, and June Claypool resigned in December 2009 after reporting the harassment to the human resources department. learn more

Plaintiff Attorney(s): Hogue & Belong

Defense Attorney(s): Dana J. Mccune & Christine J. Exton, Mccune & Harber, Los Angeles, CA (San Diego State University Foundation); Alex M. Outwater & Margaret C. Bell, Andrews, Lagasse, Branch & Bell, San Diego, CA (San Diego State University Foundation); and Nancy P. Doumanian, Doumanian & Associates, Glendale, CA (Ray DiCiccio)

San Diego Wage & Hour Lawyers

Category : Uncategorized


San Diego Wage & Hour Lawyers | Hogue & Belong Law

Case: Britt, et al. v. Scripps Hospital, et al. (Case No. 37-2010-00096421-CU-OE-CTL)

Court: Superior Court of San Diego County

Judge: Steven R. Denton

Date: July 21, 2010

Facts & Allegations

San Diego Wage & Hour LawyersPlaintiffs Miranda Britt, Cathy Cathey, and Barbara Johnson were non-exempt employees and entitled to overtime. Scripps had  an automated clock-in and clock-out system called Kronos.  Kronos would round its employees time to the  nearest quarter of  an hour.  Due to their policies, this practice caused a systematic undercompensation of its employees.  Scripps also did not incorporate all of its benefits into the regular rate of pay, thereby depriving its employees of some overtime compensation.

In February 2012, the Court certified a class of approximately 16,000 employees.  This case is currently ongoing. learn more

CLASS ACTION (Wage & Hour) San Diego Superior Court

CLASS ACTION (Wage & Hour) San Diego Superior Court | Hogue & Belong Law

Case:  Nesbitt v. Access Nurses, Inc. (Case Nos. 37-2009-00090248-CU-OE-CTL.)

Court: San Diego Superior Court

Judge: Steven R. Denton

Date:   May 21, 2009

Result:  Quarterly payout extending over a 3 year period. 

Facts & Allegations

CLASS ACTION (Wage & Hour) San Diego Superior Court

The Law Office of Hogue | Belong – San Diego

Plaintiff, Jessica Nesbitt, was an employee of Access Nurses, Inc. who recruited traveling nurses.  Jessica Nesbitt, and about 200 other recruiters, were paid a salary and consistently worked more than 8 per day, and frequently missed meal periods.  These traveling nurse recruiters were supervised by a team of 3 people.  Access Nurses did not compensate its recruiters for overtime worked, or for lunch periods they missed.

Jessica Nesbitt, on behalf of herself and all other recruiters, sued Access Nurses and claimed that, based on their job duties, the recruiters were misclassified and were not exempt from the overtime and meal period laws.

Defendant denied all allegations, claiming that the class members were properly classified as “exempt” either under the salesperson exemption or the administrative exemption under the applicable IWC Wage Orders.

Plaintiff Attorney(s): Hogue & Belong learn more

Defense Attorney(s): King & Ballow

San Diego Sexual Orientation Discrimination (Harassment) Attorney

Case:  Deborah Hardison v. Hinkle Automotive Management Company, Inc., Poway CJ, Inc., Wes Hinkle, individually and Steven Ausencio, individually (Case No. 37-2009-00082050-CU-OE-CTL)

Court:  Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego

Judge:  Luis Vargas

Arbitrator: Thomas Neal Thrasher

Date:   July 8, 2010

Result: The parties agreed to a global settlement whereby for $135,000.

Facts & Allegations

Plaintiff, Deborah Hardison, a lesbian in her late 40s and parts driver, worked in the parts department at the Poway Chrysler Jeep Dodge dealership in Poway, CA, that was owned and operated by Hinkle Automotive Management Company, Inc.  During her employment, she claimed she was subjected to sexual harassment and discrimination by her supervisor, Steven Ausencio, and other employees of the parts department. She was then terminated from her position in February 2008.

San Diego Sexual Orientation Discrimination (Harassment) AttorneyHardison and other witnesses testified that Ausencio regularly called her, “pussy-eater” and “carpet-muncher” and would refer to her as “dyke,” “lesbian,” “man,” “dude,” and “that dude over there.” Hardison claimed Ausencio would flick his tongue up and down suggestively and that he also admittedly simulated masturbation by rubbing his neck and spitting spastically at her feet.

Hardison recounted that Ausencio told her he could “switch her to the other side” if she would just “blow him,” and, “[t]his is a man’s world; if you don’t like it, I can give you your walking papers.” Hardison testified that Ausencio showed her his penis on two occasions and grabbed her from behind in a bear hug and thrust his genital area into her back and buttocks. She alleged other misconduct as well.

Hardison claimed she complained to the general manager about some of the misconduct and that he told her that he would handle the situation and that the very next day, Ausencio ordered Hardison never to go over his head again “or else” and reminded her that everyone in the parts department had his back. Hardison claimed the harassing treatment escalated at that point, and Ausencio issued multiple write-ups to her and eventually terminated her.

Hardison sued Poway CJ, Ausencio, Hinkle Automotive Management Company, Inc. and Wes Hinkle all for sexual harassment and discrimination, based on her sexual orientation, as well as wrongful termination.

Defendant, Poway CJ filed bankruptcy and stayed the action.  Hogue & Belong successfully lifted the bankruptcy stay.  The case was eventually ordered to arbitration.

Defendants’ denied all of Hardison’s allegations, claiming that she had an attendance problem, and was a poor performer.

Plaintiff Attorney(s): Hogue & Belong learn more

Defense Attorney(s): Christopher C. Hoffman & Megan C. Winter, Fisher & Phillips, La Jolla, CA (Hinkle Automotive Management Company, Inc., Poway CJ, Inc., Wes Hinkle); and Jerrilyn T. Malana, Littler Mendelson, PC, San Diego, CA (Steven Ausencio)


San Diego Real Estate Fraud Lawyer

Category : Uncategorized


San Diego Real Estate Fraud Lawyer | Hogue Belong Law

Case:  Plaintiffs 1 through 12 v. Real Estate Brokerage, and its 3 Owners; Real Estate Agent; and Appraiser

Court: Superior Court of Riverside County, Riverside

Judge(s): Gary B. Tranbarger

Date:  November 15, 2011

Result: $650,000

Facts & Allegations

Real Estate Agent “A” induced twelve unsuspecting real estate investors into 40 bad home purchases with 100% financing throughout Riverside County.  Real Estate Agent “A” bought and sold properties from client to client to client.  Using a “strawman” approach, Real Estate Agent “A” misrepresented to his clients that he had other clients lined up to resell the properties to at a profit.  Real Estate Agent “A” guaranteed Plaintiffs to pay the monthly mortgages of each property until they were sold.

San Diego Real Estate Fraud LawyerPlaintiffs were comprised of a group of unsophisticated persons, including teenagers, Spanish speakers who spoke limited English, and a disabled person resigned to a wheelchair.  Real Estate Agent “A” rushed these buyers to buy multiple properties each and the properties he or she would close within a short time frame in order to help conceal it from the different credit agencies.

This real estate agent’s only motivation to engage in this scheme was to earn exorbitant commissions and other fees.  Plaintiffs’ believe that this real estate agent made in excess of $1,000,000 in perpetrating these fraudulent real estate transactions.

The 3 owners of the brokerage were complicit in this ponzi scheme because they were earning money off Real Estate Agent “A”s fees.

Also complicit, was Appraiser “B” who appraised many of the 40 home purchases so that the loans would go through.

Eventually, almost all of the 40 homes foreclosed.  Plaintiffs lost money each and every month trying to keep up with the monthly mortgage, suffering out-of-pocket, severe credit damage, and emotional distress. learn more

San Diego Products Liability Attorney


San Diego Products Liability Attorney | Hogue & Belong Law

Case:  Joseph Ryan et al. v. Cihak et al. (Case Nos. 37-2009-00071001-CU-PO-CTL; & 37-2010-00065247-CU-PO-CTL)

Court: Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego

Judge: Ronald S. Prager

Date:  December 4, 2009

Result:   $250,000.00 against property manager and property owners; $115,000.00 against Fuel distributor; $125,000.00 against Fuel manufacturer; $125,000.00 against Fire Pit manufacturer and retailer; $3,552,075.00 against individual tortfeasor

Facts & Allegations

Plaintiffs Joseph Ryan and Eric Leber were lit on fire when a small amount of racing fuel (the “Fuel”) was poured over a small flame in a fire pit (the “Fire Pit”).  Defendant Timothy Bauer poured the Fuel on the Fire Pit.  The Fire Pit did not have any warnings on it and the bottle of Fuel lacked any flame arrestor at the pour spout.  Plaintiffs suffered a combine total of approximately $900,000.00 in past medical expenses due to severe burns.

San Diego Products Liability AttorneyTimothy Bauer, along with the property manager, property owner, and the various product manufacturers and distributors of the Fuel and Fire Pit were named in the suit. Ryan and Leber claimed that the Fire Pit should have had warnings against using liquid accelerants to start, restart or accelerate fires in the Fire Pit.  Ryan and Leber further claimed that the bottle of Fuel should have had a metal screen (a flame arrestor) at the pour spout of the bottle to prevent any sparks or heat from entering the bottle, resulting in the explosion.  Finally, Ryan and Leber claimed that the property owner and manager breached their duties to the occupants of the real property by failing to inspect the property.

Defendants’ denied all of plaintiffs, claiming that plaintiffs and others were intoxicated at the time of the incident.

Plaintiff Attorney(s): Hogue & Belong learn more

Defense Attorney(s): Pope, Berger & Williams; Grimm, Vranjes, McCormick & Graham LLP; Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson, Haluck, LLP; The Roth Law Firm; and Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith.


San Diego Class Action Lawyer (Wage & Hour)


San Diego Class Action Lawyer (Wage & Hour) | Hogue & Belong Law

Case:  Client Service Associate No. 1, et al. v.  Morgan Stanley 

Court: Superior Court of San Diego

Judge: Richard E. L. Strauss

Date: December 1, 2009

Result: $3,500,000.00

Facts & Allegations

This was a class action filed by three California client service associates (“CSAs”).  CSAs assist financial advisors with various things, such as taking all of their calls, sending correspondence on behalf of the financial advisors, placing stock orders, and other types of hyper-procedural tasks.  In or around the summer of 2009, Morgan Stanley downsized and eliminated certain CSAs.  As a result of downsizing, CSA No. 1 was  forced  to work  with  more financial  advisors, which dramatically increased her workload.

San Diego Class Action Lawyer (Wage & Hour)Pretty soon CSA No. 1 was working through her meal periods, and working unpaid overtime.   Morgan Stanley had a policy of requiring pre-authorization before a CSA could work overtime.  The person in charge of whether or not to approve overtime routinely left by 3:00 pm each day, which presented a problem.  Specifically, the problem was that CSA No. 1, despite her diligent efforts, could not know whether she would need to work overtime until about 4-4:30 pm.  She serviced the financial advisors and they were her bosses.  However, financial advisers did not  have the authority to approve overtime on behalf of Morgan Stanley.

There were also problems with the way the CSAs were told to record their time.  Specifically, the CSAs “recorded” their time on an excel spreadsheet.  However, they were instructed to recycle the same exact excel spreadsheet.  This practice created the inaccurate time records.  Further, no matter how many hours that the CSAs worked, their wage statements would always reflect 86.7 hours worked, which is in violation of the California Labor Code. learn more

The parties settled pre-certification.

San Diego Age Discrimination (Harassment) Lawyers

Category : Uncategorized


San Diego Age Discrimination (Harassment) Lawyers | Hogue & Belong Law

Case:   Jane Doe I and Jane Doe II v. Roe Restaurant Chain (Case No. 37-2008-00096036-CU-WT-CTL)

Court:  Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego

Judge: John S. Meyer

Date:    October 22, 2009

Result: Settlement of $266,000 – this settlement was over the policy limits.  The settlement was only reached once plaintiff’s counsel verified that the franchisee was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Facts & Allegations

In 2008, the plaintiffs — one 69-year-old waitress and one 70-year-old waitress — were long time workers for a national diner chain. Both females, one plaintiff had worked for the chain for more than 38 years, while the other had worked there for more than 10 years. When the corporation sold the restaurant chain to the franchisee, both plaintiffs were terminated.

They sued the restaurant for wrongful termination, age harassment and discrimination and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

The plaintiffs claimed that they had terrific reviews when the diner was corporately owned, but when a franchisee purchased it, they began to be harassed throughout 2007. They claimed that their work schedules were systematically cut because of their age and that the franchise owner was overheard saying “get rid of the two old ones.” They also asserted that the general manager who heard this refused and so the franchise owner brought in another general manager to run the diner.

San Diego Age Discrimination (Harassment) LawyersThe plaintiffs asserted that the new general manager was overheard saying things like: “[plaintiffs] are too old to work here,” “[plaintiffs] are too old and slow to take care of their station,” “we need to force [the plaintiffs] out,” “let’s put [plaintiffs] in a busier section, so that more customers complain” and “we need to hire somebody that is not so old — we need fresh people.”

The defendants denied the allegations, and claimed that the plaintiffs were not performing satisfactorily. learn more

Settlements, Awards & Publications

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Why Hogue & Belong

At Hogue & Belong Law, we offer experienced Antitrust, Class Action Lawsuit and Sexual Harassment Attorneys in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County.