September was another busy month for the retail industry, particularly for those who work in the legal departments of some of the largest retail chains in the U.S.
Racial discrimination lawsuits were filed by employees and former employees against Dollar General (DG), In-N-Out Burger, and the Sonic restaurant chain. Fry's paid a $2 million settlement for sexual harassment and a Panera (PNRA) franchisee has paid an initial $76,000 settlement for racial discrimination against one employee, with additional settlement money to come for an as yet undefined larger group of black employees.
Kroger (KR) and King Scoopers are being sued by employees for disability discrimination. Wet Seal (WTSLA) continues to defend itself against the racial discrimination lawsuit of three of its managers. A class action lawsuit was initiated on behalf of thousands of Darden (DRI) restaurant servers, alleging that the company owes tens of millions of dollars in wages due to illegal labor practices. Another class action against Costco (COST) was certified and given approval to move forward on behalf of 700 female employees claiming gender discrimination.
It seems every company in the retail industry is a legal target waiting for employee litigation for some kind of alleged wrongdoing. Even Celine Dion settled an employee lawsuit this month filed by one of her former warehouse managers for unpaid overtime wages.
While any kind of discrimination or unfair labor practice in any workplace is troublesome, the most disturbing employee lawsuit in the retail industry this month was filed by former employees of Wolfgang Puck's Catering in Dallas, Texas.... Click to read the disturbing details of the Wolfgang Puck Racial Discrimination Lawsuit...