Golf Course Company Facing California Labor Lawsuit


Sacramento, CA If allegations against a California golf course management company are proven true in a court of law, various affronts to California labor law will likely be confirmed. At issue, according to the June 25 edition of the Sacramento Bee, are allegations of sexual harassment and other violations to California labor code involving a company set to wield greater influence over golf courses in Sacramento.

Morton Golf - a co-defendant named in the lawsuit - provides management services for the city's four golf courses. At the heart of the lawsuit is the golf course known as Bing Maloney and the manager assigned to that course by Morton Golf, Andrew Wilson.

Wilson, identified as a former Marine and also named in the suit, has been accused of sexual harassment together with various other violations of California labor employment law, including affronts to regulations that govern meal breaks and payment of overtime.

The plaintiffs allege their meal and rest breaks - legislated by California and labor law??"were denied them. It is also alleged that employees working at the Bing Maloney course were instructed to clock out after eight hours, in spite of having additional work to perform, on some days, after they had punched out.

As for the sexual harassment allegations, one of the four plaintiffs described the work environment at the California golf course as "incredibly hostile." Allegations against Morton Golf and Wilson include lewd and inappropriate comments, and sexual touching. Two of the plaintiffs are female, while two are male. One of the male plaintiffs was dating a female plaintiff at the time, and was thus caught up in what was described in the lawsuit as sexual harassment on a daily basis.

The other male plaintiff alleged violations to California state labor laws.

Three of the plaintiffs no longer work for Morton Golf, while a fourth has moved from Bing Maloney to the pro shop at Bartley Cavanaugh, another of Sacramento's four golf courses. It is not clear if the plaintiff is still employed directly by Morton Golf, even though she is working at a city course managed by one of the two defendants. Pro shops often have different management and ownership structures.

The California employee labor lawsuit comes at a particularly sensitive time for Sacramento City governance. In May, Sacramento City Council voted to increase the city's stake in the management services of Morton Golf on the city's behalf, by contracting out course maintenance services to Morton as well. The move, as reported by The Bee, would save the City of Sacramento $500,000 per year - but would also result in the layoff of 38 unionized employees.

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