San Jose, CA: The wide-ranging #MeToo movement that has seen scores of women calling out men for harassment, discrimination and other allegations of deplorable behavior has gone beyond media, entertainment and the hallowed Halls of Congress to encompass the judiciary. While there remain no harassment or discrimination lawsuits in the offing, two respected California news sources – including the Los Angeles Times (12/11/17) – nonetheless reveal various examples of behavior towards women, one wouldn’t expect to see in the Halls of Justice.
Was basic respect always lacking, but no one was willing to talk about it?
Another venerable California news outlet, the Mercury News (San Jose, 12/7/17) revealed in early December that a presiding justice of the Court of Appeal in San Jose – a senior judge – resigned October 31 amidst allegations of bigotry, sexual harassment and discrimination against women. The state Judicial Council, which is headed by California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, had been asked by the justices of the 6 District Court of Appeal to investigate complaints against former presiding Justice Conrad Rushing.
An outside law firm is reported to have been engaged by the Judicial Council to look into the allegations against Rushing, and report back. The Mercury News managed to access a copy of what was to have been a confidential document, and in early December reported on the various allegations made against Rushing. Amongst the allegations were those of discrimination against females, including the favoring of male attorneys on the Court staff. Rushing is alleged to have favored male attorneys with assignments of more complex cases, and allowed them freedom to telecommute. Various allegations associated with comments and examples of behavior around female staff were also made.
As noted, the 80-year-old presiding Justice resigned from his position at the end of October and retired from the bench in early December, ahead of the Mercury News report. The
Earlier this month, The Washington Post (12/08/17) detailed allegations of harassment and against women on the part of a judge assigned to the US Court of Appeals for the 9 Circuit. According to the exhaustive report, which was published December 9, Judge Alex Kozinski – a one-time contestant on The Dating Game as a young man – is still sitting. The Los Angeles Times contacted Judge Kozinski for comment, who stated he had no recollection of the incidents and allegations contained in The Washington Post report.
Should we not expect our Justices to be held to a higher standard?
As for Cantil-Sakauye, the former prosecutor, trial court judge and state appellate justice, she suggested to the Los Angeles Times that she may have suffered more serious gender discrimination than being called “honey” and “sugar” but declined to discuss it. Cantil-Sakauye indicated that over the course of her own legal career various #MeToo moments directed her way have included being addressed as “sugar and honey and dear,” and she has been addressed as one of the “girls,” she told the Los Angeles Times.
Anything that may have gone beyond that, she declines to reveal.
“I’ve had a few ‘me-toos’ [sic] in the past, but I’m not telling them, at least not on the record,” said Cantil-Sakauye, after meeting with legal reporters in her chambers. Cantil-Sakauye also indicated the court system employs ethics instruction for judges that includes education about sexual harassment, together with basic instruction that is akin to what children are taught in kindergarten, she said.
‘Keep your hands to yourself, don’t say anything you wouldn’t want said to yourself and behave.”
Any worker in California, of any gender or gender identification who has suffered harassment or discrimination currently or previously, would be wise to speak up and seek retribution against alleged perpetrators – especially in light of the climate currently at hand.
Sacramento, CA: A corrections officer in the California State Prison, Sacramento who refuses to quit her job is suing The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for discrimination and for not responding to what plaintiff Meghan Frederick claims is a hostile work environment.
Los Angeles, CA: A California discrimination lawsuit that was filed back in May alleges discrimination and retaliation suffered by plaintiff Joyce Li, a former employee of Independent Sports & Entertainment (ISE, which used to be known as Relativity Sports). Li, who alleges she was terminated from her job, asserts that the work environment at ISE was blatantly discriminatory.
San Mateo, CA: A discrimination lawsuit launched June 28 in California state court alleges discrimination and harassment suffered while employed at a Golden State venture capital firm. The plaintiff, identified as Ann Lai, claims in her lawsuit that Binary Capital Management LLC (Binary Capital, Binary) was found to be an inappropriate workplace for women. Lai also cited confidentiality provisions she alleged to be stifling.
Mountain View, CA: An administrative lawsuit over allegations of pay disparity and gender discrimination against women involving the California-based Google Inc. (Google) translates to a feud between the search engine juggernaut and the US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (DOL, OFCCP).
Oakland, CA: No tomó mucho tiempo para que las demandas por discriminación comenzaran a fluir después de la orden ejecutiva del Presidente Donald Trump anunciada el 27 de enero de este año, prohibiendo que ciudadanos de siete países predominantemente musulmanes entraran a los Estados Unidos. Por esta razón, la Unión Americana de Libertades Civiles (ACLU) ha presentado una demanda por discriminación en nombre de tres estudiantes universitarios y otros afectados en California, citando a la orden ejecutiva de Trump como inconstitucional.
Los Angeles, CA A discrimination lawsuit alleging age discrimination and ‘failure to hire’ on the part of the Los Angeles Times is headed for arbitration following a ruling by a California Superior Court judge who found that discrimination and failure to hire claims fell outside the bounds of the freelance agreement signed by, and governing the activities of, the plaintiff.
Oakland, CA: It didn’t take long for discrimination lawsuits to begin flowing following President Donald Trump’s January 27 Executive Order barring citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US. To that end the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a discrimination lawsuit on behalf of three university students and others in California, citing the Trump executive order as unconstitutional.
Redwood City, CA: A software and tech juggernaut has come under fire from the US Department of Labor (DOL) for alleged discrimination against women and minorities. The allegation, which is backed by a lawsuit against Oracle America Inc., accuses the defendant of paying women and minorities less than their counterparts.
Los Angeles, CA: The Hotel Bel-Air, a facility that has risen to iconic status since it first opened its doors in 1922, closed for extensive renovations in 2009. That process took two years to complete. At some point, however, prior to its re-opening in 2011 the hotel is reported to have undertaken a hiring drive. In so doing, the hotel operators are alleged to have snubbed existing employees who were members of a union. Union members alleged California discrimination.