May 21, 2012 |
You can almost hear the sighs of relief coming from art galleries and auction houses up and down California: Federal Judge Jacqueline Nguyen has declared the California Resale Royalty Act unconstitutional. The highly controversial, widely misunderstood and little enforced state law that took effect in 1977 was designed to provide artists with 5% of their resale prices under certain conditions. As written, the law would apply to a resale of an original work of art provided this sale takes place in California or the seller resides in California.
April 6, 2012 |
Apple is strict about product pricing, but now you can get a legitimate discount on a brand new iPhone 4S. But there's a catch -- unless you already live in Kentucky, Virginia or Alaska, you have to move to one of those states. That's where small cellphone carriers will be offering the phone, beginning April 20, for $150, according to an Associated Press report. That's $49 less than what's charged by major carriers AT&T, Verizon and Sprint for the hugely popular phone, with a two-year contract.
April 6, 2012 |
McDonald's Corp.can keep including toys in Happy Meals in most parts of California after a San Francisco judge threw out a proposed class-action lawsuit seeking to ban the practice in the state. Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer did not give a reason in his decision for dismissing the suit, initially filed in 2010 by the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest and Monet Parham, listed in the suit as a California mother. Michael F. Jacobson, the group's executive director, said in a strongly worded statement Thursday that using toys to lure kids to unhealthy fast food was "a predatory practice" that involves "unscrupulous marketing techniques.
February 2, 2012 |
More than 500 current and former female employees of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have filed discrimination claims against the retailer with the U.S. Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission after a national class-action lawsuit was blocked by the Supreme Court last year. The claims were filed to preserve the women's rights to pursue individual and regional class-action suits against Wal-Mart over alleged discrimination on pay and promotions, their attorneys said. "The fight continues to seek justice for the women employees of Wal-Mart," said Joseph Sellers, one of the attorneys representing the women, in a statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 1, 2012 |
Like any concerned mother, Athena Hohenberg wanted to be sure her 4-year-old was getting a good breakfast. So she served up Nutella, a hazelnut and cocoa spread marketed as part of a balanced breakfast. "Start your day with Nutella spread," urge the TV ads. But Hohenberg was shocked to learn, she said in a lawsuit filed in February, that the sandwich spread is chock full of fat and sugar — "the next best thing to a candy bar," she alleged. Nutella manufacturer Ferrero USA Inc. has agreed to settle the suit brought by the San Diego mother on behalf of hundreds of thousands of consumers who may have been similarly deceived, even though the ads specified that fruit, milk and whole wheat bread were also part of that balanced meal.
August 12, 2011 |
A Chicago group has filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court against the Department of Homeland Security, charging that its practice of asking local police to detain immigrants when there's no evidence of illegal activity is unconstitutional. At issue is the use of an immigration detainer, a key component of Homeland Security's Secure Communities program. It is a request from the department's Immigration and Customs Enforcement to another law enforcement agency to hold people so that ICE can investigate their immigration status and potentially take over custody.
June 21, 2011 |
Women and minorities who think they are underpaid will find it nearly impossible to band together to sue employers for discrimination under a Supreme Court ruling against 1.5 million female Wal-Mart employees in the most important job-bias case in a decade. Only if there is proof a company has a policy of paying less to women or minorities can the employees get together in a class-action suit, the court said in an opinion Monday by Justice Antonin Scalia. Statistics showing that a company's female workers earn far less and get fewer promotions than men will not suffice, the court said.
May 17, 2011
In a case that began with a disgruntled cellphone customer, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it harder for groups of consumers or employees to band together to seek damages from corporations. Because the decision involved a federal statute, not the Constitution, Congress can — and should — overrule the court. Almost a decade ago, Vincent and Liza Concepcion entered into a sales contract with AT&T Mobility that contained an arbitration clause forbidding a customer to join with others in a class-action lawsuit against the company.
May 15, 2011
A second chance Re "A life sentence of joblessness," Opinion, May 11 It's not often that an Op-Ed article haunts me throughout my day, but Gregory J. Boyle's did. Why teach former inmates to rehabilitate themselves if we won't rehabilitate our opinions of them? How can we ask them to have hope if we're going to continue to treat them as potential criminals? The young man who was fired when the employer found out about his prison record broke my heart. Maybe employers shouldn't be able to know about a person's prison record.
May 10, 2011 |
The Supreme Court's recent 5-4 decision preventing consumers from bringing class-action suits against corporations is part of a disturbing trend of the five most conservative justices closing the courthouse doors to injured individuals. This is nothing other than a conservative majority favoring the interests of businesses over consumers, employees and others suffering injuries. The case involved Vincent and Liza Concepcion, who purchased a cellphone from AT&T Mobility. The form contract they signed provided for arbitration of all disputes between the parties.