Some of our current and more recent cases include the following kinds of cases:
SEE A LIST OF CASES AND ISSUES WE ARE CURRENTLY INVESTIGATING
FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT (“FLSA”) WAGE AND OVERTIME CASES
ERISA PENSION AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS CASES
EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION CASES
DISABILITY AND HEALTH BENEFITS CASES
FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT (“FLSA”) WAGE AND OVERTIME CASES
Martin & Bonnett is currently litigating or investigating several industries and groups of employees for overtime, minimum wage, unlawful deductions, Fair Labor Standards Act and other state and federal wage and employment law violations. Many employers wrongfully misclassify employees as independent contractors and deprive them of wages, benefits and other legal protections accorded to employees. Martin & Bonnett has litigated or is litigating or investigating the following categories of employees:
- Assistant Managers
- Bank Employees
- Call Center/Telemarketing Employees
- Customer Service Employees
- Truck Drivers and Delivery Employees
- Hospital Workers
- Loan Officers/Loan Processors
- Restaurant Employees
- Retail Store Employees
If you would like more information, or believe you are entitled to overtime or other compensation you have not been paid, or if you believe your employer has misclassified you as an independent contractor, contact our experienced FLSA overtime attorneys, at (602)240-6900 or call 1-800-952-4750. You can also contact us using the form on the Contact Us link on this website.
SOME OF OUR NOTABLE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT CASES
- Wildflower Bread Company (Assistant Managers- Failure to Pay Overtime) Martin & Bonnett successfully resolved a collective and class action complaint brought on behalf of Assistant Managers for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and state wage laws and obtained back pay for the group of employees who joined the lawsuit.
- Klement v. Sierra Vista Regional Health Center (Overtime For Hospital Employees For On-Call And On-Premises Time) Martin & Bonnett successfully resolved a lawsuit challenging the failure to pay wages and overtime compensation for meal times and rest periods during which the employer required the employees to be on- call and automatically deducting a half hour unpaid lunch break when the employees could not take lunch.
- Van Dusen v. Swift Transportation Company (Misclassification of Drivers as Independent Contractors) Martin & Bonnett, together with co-counsel, is currently challenging the classification of these truck drivers as independent contractors. For more information or to join the lawsuit, contact us or go to www.swiftjustice.org
- Collinge v. Intelliquick Delivery Incorporated (Misclassification of Drivers as Independent Contractors) Martin & Bonnett has filed a collective and class action lawsuit against Intelliquick on behalf of drivers classified by Intelliquick as independent contractors. The complaint alleges that the drivers are employees and are misclassified as independent contractors and that they have been deprived of wages and benefits and subjected to unlawful deductions and other unlawful practices. For more information or to join the lawsuit, contact us or go to www.iqlawsuit.com
- Central Refridgerated Service, Inc. & Cental Leasing, Inc. (Misclassification of Drivers as Independent Contractors) Marin & Bonnett, together with co-counsel has brought a calss and collective action seeking minimum wages and damages asserting that "owner operators are employees, not independent contractors. For more information or to join the lawsuit please contact us.
ERISA PENSION AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS CASES
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) gives you many rights and imposes obligations on employers, unions and others who sponsor pension plans. Martin & Bonnett has litigated and is currently litigating numerous individual and class action cases regarding employees and retirees of private and public employers and against large and small companies including cases against Honeywell, Motorola, Lockheed Martin, John Deere, collectively bargained plans, and other employers in the financial services, insurance, defense, medical technology, security, transportation, pharmaceutical and dairy industries. Martin & Bonnett is committed to serving employees and retirees.
Martin & Bonnett has successfully handled a wide variety of ERISA pension and retirement cases. We have sucessfully litigated and are continuing to investigate cases involving:
- Reduction in pension benefits following plan amendments
- Improper calculation of benefits
- Eligibility for benefits, early retirement benefits and disability pension benefits
- Failure to provide the right amount of service, benefit and vesting credit
- Suspension of benefits for returning to work after retirement
- Breach of fiduciary responsibilities
- Mishandling of plan funds and failure to transmit contributions or release pension benefits
- Improper and inadequate disclosure of benefits and rights
- “Lost” benefits where companies have merged or have been sold or pension plans have been discontinued
- Failing to provide increases in benefits for employees who work past normal retirement age
- Offsets of pension benefits based on Social Security or benefits from other sources
- Claims of overpayments against retirees
NOTABLE PENSION AND RETIREMENT CASES
Some of our notable ERISA and other employee benefit cases include the following:
Allen v. Honeywell Retirement Earnings Plan (Reducing Accrued Benefits through Plan Amendments and Offsets) Martin & Bonnett successfully negotiated a partial settlement of over $35 million in a nationwide class action lawsuit challenging plan amendments, benefit reductions and offsets. The parties also agreed to an additional $23 million in Final Settlement, that was approved by the court.
Loewy v. Retirement Committee, Plan Administrator of the Motorola, Inc. Pension Plan (Benefit Offsets and Suspension of Benefits for Working past Normal Retirement Age) Martin & Bonnett settled a pension class action case for $11.3 million in a case challenging the calculation of a social security offset applied to reduce pension benefits and suspension of benefits for working past normal retirement age.
For more information, please see the article in the Wall Street Journal about Mr. Loewy: Retiree Runaround: Trying to Challenge a Benefits Decision.
- Becker v. Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust (Suspension of Benefits for Reemployment in the Industry ) Martin & Bonnett successfully obtained a settlement of over $7 million in a class action challenging suspension of retirement benefits for working in non-covered employment during retirement. Martin & Bonnett has also successfully represented retirees in other cases involving suspensions of retirement benefits and failure to provide appropriate plan credit for employees who work past their retirement age.
- Burns v. Gatekeeper (Mishandling of Employee Pension Contributions) Martin & Bonnett obtained a settlement of over $1.7 million in a class action challenging the imprudent handling of 403(b) and 457(b) plan benefits for school district employees against a third party administrator. As the result of a settlement, employees whose funds were improperly handled received 100% of their missing contributions and a substantial amount of interest.
- Lyell v. Farmers Group Inc. Employees’ Pension Plan (Failure to Provide Vesting and Benefit Credit) Martin & Bonnett entered into a class action settlement of a case challenging how a pension plan computed service credit after participants had a “break in service.” Under the settlement, each of the Settlement Class Members received 100% of the amount of additional benefits or additional credited service due plus interest on all past payments.
- Dominguez v. ASARCO (Refusal to Pay Unreduced Early Retirement Benefits) Martin & Bonnett was able to get the Plaintiffs the benefits they were entitled to from Asarco, Inc. -- while the class action lawsuit was pending, Asarco Inc. paid the Plaintiffs their pension benefits in full. The Class Action Complaint alleged that Asarco violated ERISA, by failing to pay and/or by delaying payment of Plaintiffs’ “70/80” Pension Benefits, which were unreduced early retirement benefits.
- Traylor v. AVNET (Lump Sum Benefits in Cash Balance Plan) Martin & Bonnett was co-counsel on a case challenging the eligibility for and calculation of lump sum benefits in a cash balance pension plan that resulted in a settlement of $34 million.
- Allbaugh v. California Field Ironworkers Pension Trust Martin & Bonnett has brought a class action on behalf of ironworker retirees alleging that their benefits were wrongfully suspended and that they are entitled to additional credit both for working past age normal retirement age and for benefits earned by continuing to work.
- Frazier v. Honeywell International, Inc. Martin & Bonnett together with co-counsel has brought a class action on behalf of former Bendix employees and Bendix retirees who participated in the Bendix pension plan alleging that employee of Bendix who transferred to or from other locations within the comapny were entitled to receive Bendix pension benefits at retirement to the extent such benefits were greater then the benefits earned under other plans. The case assets that AlliedSignal and/or Honeywell amended the plans in violation of ERISA and that employees who worked for Bendix should receive benefits un the Bendix Pension Plan to the extent those benefits are higher then benefits earned under other plans. If you or someone you knwo worked at a Bendix plan location, you might be in the class. To find out if your are covered by the class action and to find out more about this lawsuit, please contact us and let us know you were at one time covered by the Bendix pension plan.
- Defending Retirees against Claimed Overpayments Martin & Bonnett has represented several retirees against claims that their benefits were overpaid/that almost lost his pension benefits due to corporate restructuring. In one instance, a retired mine supervisor had been receiving a pension for 18 years and was 79 years old when he received a letter from the BP Retirement Accumulation Plan (“BP”) that stated he would no longer receive his benefits based on an alleged error and that he had accumulated an overpayment of $18,363.44. Martin & Bonnett worked on behalf of the retiree and his benefits were reinstated and the claim for repayment was dropped.
- “Lost” Pension BenefitsMartin & Bonnett has successfully obtained pension benefits for numerous individuals who have been unable to collect pension benefits after corporate restructuring, mergers and plan terminations.
- Rights to Survivor Benefits Martin & Bonnett has brought lawsuits challenging pension plans’ refusals to pay retirement benefits to surviving spouses and beneficiaries and recently successfully settled a lawsuit challenging a pension plan’s failure to honor a benefit election made by the retire.
ERISA DISABILITY AND HEALTH BENEFITS CASES
Martin & Bonnett has brought successful claims for disability and health benefits against a wide variety of employers and insurance companies. Martin & Bonnett handles the administrative claims and appeals to the insurance companies and employers and federal court litigation. The law governing rights under health and disability benefits plans is complicated. Often not even the insurance companies know how to apply the law properly. A denial does not mean the plan or insurance company was correct.
NOTABLE DISABILITY AND HEALTH BENEFIT CASES AGAINST ERISA PLANS
- Health Benefit Claims for Residential Drug and Alcohol Treatment Martin & Bonnett recently successfully settled a lawsuit involving denial of a claim under an ERISA medical benefits plan for inpatient treatment for drug abuse for a teenaged dependent of an employee.
- Health Benefit Claims for Residential Treatment for Mental Health Issues Martin & Bonnett brought an action under ERISA and obtained a favorable settlementfor a high level employee who sought in-patient residential treatment for mental health issues after the insurance company denied the claims.
- Health Benefit Claims for Transplant Expenses, Treatments Labeled as Experimental, Treatments Claimed To Be Excluded or Benefits Claimed To Be in Excess of Policy Limits Martin & Bonnett has successfully handled claims involving a wide variety of reasons ERISA governed health or disability insurance plans have used to deny claims for benefits including claims challenging the denial of transplant benefits, claims that benefits are experimental, claims that benefits are excluded and claims that services or treatments are in excess of policy limits.
- Health Benefit Claims for Pre-Existing Conditions Martin & Bonnett has brought claims challenging a plan’s violations of the HIPAA/ ERISA pre-existing condition limitations
- COBRA ViolationsMartin & Bonnett hassuccessfully represented employees whose claims for benefits under COBRA were denied or delayed.
- Claims for Short Term and Long Term Disability Insurance Benefits. Martin & Bonnett has successfully brought and resolved numerous administrative claims and lawsuits challenging denials of short and long term disability benefits under ERISA plans. For example, Martin & Bonnett recently obtained a favorable settlement of a claim for short term disability benefits for an employee who became unable to work for a period of time due to severe depression. Martin & Bonnett also successfully settled claims for employees with numerous disabilities whose benefits were denied or terminated including: bipolar disorder, lupus, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, back problems and cancer.
- Health Benefit Claim Denials, Including Denials for Preexisting Conditions, Failure to Pre-Certify, Coordination of Benefits and Out of Network Benefits Martin & Bonnett has filed administrative claims and brought lawsuits on behalf of employees who were denied health benefits for various reasons, including the failure to pre-certify certain treatment and for preexisting conditions.
- Retiree Health Benefits Martin & Bonnett has successfully brought claims for retiree health benefits for union employees. In Gould v. Lockheed Martin Corporation, Martin & Bonnett obtained a settlement for future and past Medicare reimbursement for class members, as well as continued medical coverage for the class of retirees and their dependents after a company threatened to discontinue and reduce retiree health benefits
EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION CASES
Martin & Bonnett has represented a wide variety of plaintiffs in cases alleging unlawful discrimination and retaliation, including cases against large and small employers, alike. We have also been class counsel in class action cases alleging discrimination. We have represented employees or sued on behalf of employees for many types of discrimination including $ sexual harassment $ sex discrimination $ pregnancy discrimination $ disability discrimination $ age discrimination $ race discrimination $ national origin discrimination $ religious discrimination and $ gender discrimination.
SOME NOTABLE DISCRIMINATION CASES
- Fazlovic v. Maricopa County Martin & Bonnett, in partnership with the ACLU, has sued Maricopa County, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office; Sheriff Joseph Arpaio, and others for maintaining policies and practices that discriminate on the basis of religion and prevent employees from practicing their religion in violation of federal and state law.
- Puente v. State of Arizona (Arizona Department of Transportation)(Race Discrimination and National Origin Discrimination Class Action)
Martin & Bonnett brought a Class Action Complaint against the Arizona Department of Transportation (“ADOT”), on behalf of Hispanic employees, alleging that minority employees of ADOT had been subjected to a pattern and practice of intentional discrimination based on their race or national origin. Martin & Bonnett successfully negotiated a Consent Decree with the State and obtained monetary judgments for some individual employee victims of discrimination.
- Noriega v. City of Scottsdale (National Origin Discrimination)
Martin & Bonnett filed a complaint alleging race and national origin discrimination on behalf of a group of ten Hispanic employees. Martin & Bonnett was successful in obtaining one of the largest settlements against the City of Scottsdale.
- Cameron v. Arizona Board of Regents (Race Discrimination and Sex Discrimination and Retaliation) Martin & Bonnett sued the Arizona Board of Regents (“ABOR”) and ASU President Crow and others on behalf of an African-American former professor of Arizona State University (“ASU”) for race and sex discrimination and retaliation. The case is currently on appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Sex Discrimination and FMLA Suit against Large Computer Corporation Martin & Bonnett successfully resolved a suit against a large national computer corporation on behalf of a female former regional sales manager alleging discrimination on the basis of sex, in violation of Title VII, and a violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act by failing and refusing to use the same method or criteria for calculating and paying bonuses that was used for male employees.
- Sexual HarassmentMartin & Bonnett has represented numerous employees who have been sexually harassed in the work place and has obtained favorable settlements for them.
- Same Sex DiscriminationMartin & Bonnett successfully resolved claims for same sex discrimination in a number of instances.
- Pregnancy Discrimination against Real Estate Management Company
Martin & Bonnett successfully resolved a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against a multi-state real estate management company on behalf of a former bookkeeper alleging unlawful termination and discrimination on account of pregnancy.
- Pregnancy Discrimination against Financial Services Company
Martin & Bonnett successfully settled a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against a national financial services company on behalf of a former sales manager who alleged that she was denied opportunities and demoted because the company unlawfully determined that she could not perform her job while pregnant.
- Age Discrimination Martin & Bonnett was successful in settling a suit against a County on behalf of a prospective employee who alleged he was denied a position because of age discrimination.
CIVIL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
Martin & Bonnett has represented numerous public employees whose constitutional rights including free speech and due process or civil rights have been violated.
NOTABLE CIVIL RIGHTS & CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS CASES
- Riley v. City of Prescott Martin & Bonnett is co-counsel with the ACLU in a suit against the City of Prescott and others for terminating an employee in retaliation for her exercise of her right of free speech. An article about the suit appears below.
- Miller v. Mohave County Martin & Bonnett is suing Mohave County and others for terminating an employee of the probation department in retaliation for exercising his right to free speech.
- Local 3190 v. Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Martin & Bonnett sued for violation of the right of free speech and successfully obtained a preliminary injunction barring the County from prohibiting the Union from communicating with employees through bulletin boards, employee mailboxes or through paycheck materials. The case was subsequently settled.
ACLU Sues City of Prescott for Violating Free Speech Rights of Fired Employee
PHOENIX - In a case that will define just how far elected officials can go to silence their critics, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona today filed a lawsuit in federal district court against the City of Prescott Mayor, City Manager and several officials with the Yavapai Humane Society on behalf of an employee of the animal shelter who was fired for her involvement with a group called Prescott Citizens Against Bullies.
"The First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution as well as the Arizona Constitution each prohibit city officials and public employers from censoring the speech of employees who speak out on their own time on important community issues," said ACLU of Arizona cooperating attorney Daniel Bonnett, of the Phoenix-based law firm of Martin & Bonnett. "As the lawsuit alleges, we believe this is a clear example of city officials retaliating against an employee for publicly criticizing government policies and practices."
At issue is the unlawful termination of KayAnne Riley, a single mother and former United States Marine, who worked as the marketing director for the city-contracted Yavapai Humane Society from July 2009 to November 2010. During that time, she helped form Prescott Citizens against Bullies to speak out against what she and others believed were "unfair and unlawful actions" by certain city officials and employees. In particular, Ms. Riley was concerned about what she perceived as the wrongful termination and arrest of another city employee by Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall and other city and police officials.
On November 1, 2010, Riley participated in a peaceful, public demonstration during the lunch hour to protest the unlawful arrest and bullying. The event was covered by the local newspaper, which ran a front page article describing Riley as the "masked leader of the protest rally." The article also mentioned that some of the demonstrators were wearing masks because "everybody's afraid to speak up" in light of past acts by Mayor Kuykendall, including retaliation against individuals who vocalized their opposition to the city's dealings with the Elk's Opera House and Antelope Hills municipal golf course. Two days later, Riley received a notice of reprimand for "insubordination" from the Yavapai Humane Society because of her "personal political activities." Less than two weeks after the demonstration, Riley received a letter of termination stating that her "recent involvement in a public demonstration displayed poor judgment and reflected poorly on the Society."
"The Mayor has brought a culture of fear and intimidation to Prescott, and I am the perfect example of why everyone is afraid to speak out against public misdeeds," said KayAnne Riley, 48, who has a 12-year-old daughter and was a combat correspondent stationed in Tokyo during the Gulf War in the 90s. "Elected officials shouldn't go around using their positions of authority to get people fired. I felt I had an obligation to stand up for what is right and battle injustice. That's one of the reasons I chose to serve in the Marines."
According to the ACLU, board members and staff at the animal shelter made the decision to terminate Riley after Mayor Kuykendall threatened to terminate the contract between the Yavapai Humane Society and the city for Riley's involvement with Prescott Citizens against Bullies and for her participation in the protest. Riley's boss, Yavapai Humane Society Executive Director Ed Boks, also had previously told her that "he had to take action to appease" Mayor Kuykendall and Yavapai Humane Society board member Marty Goodman. According to the ACLU complaint, Goodman was concerned that Riley's participation in the public protest "was affecting his friendship with the Mayor."
"Mayor Kuykendall and the City of Prescott have a history of retaliating against public employees and other Prescott citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights," added Daniel Pochoda, ACLU of Arizona Legal Director. "KayAnne Riley has paid a dear price to expose government misconduct. Today's lawsuit seeks to hold city officials accountable and avoid a repeat of such abusive and illegal acts in the future."
The ACLU lawsuit argues that city officials violated Riley's First Amendment rights by unlawfully retaliating against her for exercising her rights to freedom of association, speech, and peaceful assembly. In addition to Mayor Kuykendall, and Boks and Goodman of the Yavapai Humane Society, former City Manager Steve Norwood also is a named defendant in the lawsuit.
Riley is represented by the ACLU's Dan Pochoda and Daniel Bonnett, Susan Martin, Jennifer Kroll and Mark A. Bracken, from the Phoenix law firm of Martin & Bonnett.