Wal-Mart, Sexual Discrimination and the Good Samaritans

Posted on August 9, 2010

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At the beginning of May, we aired a segment titled “How To Get Fired: Help Someone In Need!” in which I interviewed the two young Sprint employees from Colorado who were fired for coming to the aid of an aging security guard who was attempting to apprehend a shoplifter.

Known as the Good Samaritans, both Mike McGee and Paul Shoemaker were for a time, the epitome of the very best in human nature, while Sprint was roundly criticized as the true villain. While garnering much sympathy and support for their plight, in what has become an increasingly litigious society, the legal foundation upon which their case for wrongful dismal would be based was never really established.

Even though a July 28th post on their Good Samaritans Facebook Page makes the following statement, “Thank you all for your support Mike and I are doing great Life is good and we just want to let you know that everything is working out for the best of us,” the legalities of the event remain largely unanswered.

Enter tonight’s guest Brad Seligman.

Seligman, a civil rights attorney specializing in class action and individual employment and civil rights litigation for over 30 years, has successfully litigated over 50 civil rights class actions and countless individual employment cases including wrongful termination actions.

He is also, it is worth noting, the lead counsel in the nationwide class action gender discrimination case against Wal-Mart Stores, Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., which is the largest civil rights class action ever certified, as well as being the lead counsel in a nationwide glass ceiling gender discrimination case against Costco, Ellis v. Costco, 240 F.R.D. 627 (N.D.Cal.2007).

Suffice to say Brad Seligman knows employment law!

Listed among the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal (June 19, 2006), Brad will join us this evening to talk about the Good Samaritan case, as well as others as we attempt to understand the at times complex world of workplace litigation.

Our toll free number will of course be open to your calls, as will the live chat room.

Use the following link to access both the Live and On-Demand broadcast “Wal-Mart, Sexual Discrimination and the Good Samaritans” on Tuesday, August 31st at 8:00 PM EST across the Blog Talk Radio Network.

Brad Seligman

About Brad Seligman:

For over 30 years, Brad Seligman has been a civil rights attorney specializing in class action and individual employment and civil rights litigation. He is the founder of public foundation, the Impact Fund, which provides financial and technical assistance and representation for complex public interest litigation. After serving as the organization’s Executive Director for 17 years, Seligman became Senior Counsel in July 2010. Since 1992, the Impact Fund has granted over $5 million to support such litigation. From 1988-1991, he was the managing partner of the Oakland firm of Saperstein, Seligman, Mayeda and Larkin. From September 1991 until June 1994, he was of-counsel to the firm’s successor, Saperstein, Mayeda and Goldstein. He was a senior Law Clerk to Judge Lawrence K. Karlton of the Eastern District of California and an extern to Justice Matthew O. Tobriner of the California Supreme Court.

He has successfully litigated over 50 civil rights class actions and countless individual employment cases including wrongful termination actions. He is lead counsel in the nationwide class action gender discrimination case against Wal-Mart Stores, Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 222 F.R.D. 137 (N.D.Cal.2004), aff’d in part and remanded 603F 3d 571 (9th cir 2010) (en banc), which is the largest civil rights class action ever certified. He is also lead counsel in a nationwide glass ceiling gender discrimination case against Costco, Ellis v. Costco, 240 F.R.D. 627 (N.D.Cal.2007).

He successfully tried and subsequently settled the third-largest sex discrimination class action recovery in history ($107.25 million), Stender v. Lucky Stores, 803 F.Supp.259 (N.D.Cal.1992) and also settled the first major challenge to the use of psychological testing by a private employer,Soroka v. Dayton Hudson Corp, dba Target Stores. He was co-lead counsel in the then-largest Americans with Disabilities Act access settlement, Arnold v. United Artists Theatre Circuit, 158 F.R.D. 439 (N.D.Cal.1994). He settled the largest disability employment class action ever, Glover v. Potter, (EEOC 2007) recovering $61 million for a class of 7500. He represented one of the principal objectors to theGeorgine class action settlement before the 3d Circuit and before the United States Supreme Court, where the standards for assessing settlement classes were handed down, Amchem Products, Inc. v. Windsor, 521 U.S. 591 (1997).

Before the California Supreme Court, he has argued, among other cases, Munson v. Del Taco, 46 Cal. 4th 661 (2009), which held that proof of intentional discrimination is not required for ADA violations under the unruh Civil Rights act, Frye v. Tenderloin Housing Clinic, 38 Cal.4th 23 (2006), which upheld the right of nonprofit legal advocacy groups to practice law; Sav-On Drug Stores, Inc. v, Superior Court, 34 Cal.4th 319 (2004), which established class certification standards in overtime class actions; andCity of Moorpark v. Superior Court, 18 Cal.4th 1143 (1998), a case which established that disability discrimination claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act are not preempted by the Workers’ Compensation Act.

He has served on the Board of Directors of Equal Rights Advocates and California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. and also as the chair of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Development Partnership. He was the co-founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Plaintiffs’ Employment Lawyers Association. He has spoken and written widely on topics of class actions, employment and public interest law, and attorneys’ fee litigation.

He has taught employment discrimination law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law and Golden Gate University Law School, and taught a seminar on class action litigation at UC Hastings. He was a 1978 graduate of UC Hastings College of the Law and a Teaching Fellow at Stanford Law School. He was a Regent’s Lecturer at UCLA School of Law in March 2006.

He has served as the chair of the Northern District Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel and as a Northern District delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.

The National Law Journal (June 19, 2006) has listed him among the 100 most influential lawyers in America.

Media Bites:

Brad Seligman, How Giving Has Improved My Life

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