CIVIL RIGHTS & EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION
Ray & Counsel has substantial practical and legal experience to help provide relief to individuals affected by discriminatory, retaliatory or unlawful practices and to employers who are defending lawful policies under constitutional, federal and state law. The Ray Law Firm covers a broad range of civil rights and discrimination claims, under federal Section 1983, Title VII and similar state anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, as well as the Equal Protection guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. We also have experience with whistleblower claims.
In addition, Ray & Counsel represents employers in wage and hour class action litigation, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and state minimum wage and overtime laws.
In special cases, Ray & Counsel represents individuals in constitutional tort cases, including wrongful death and other violations of constitutional rights by government officials and federal, state and municipal entities, and expanding efforts to increasingly represent individual victims of police misconduct.
In the employment context, handling complaints and claims of discrimination can be both delicate and difficult experiences. Ray & Counsel’s primary approach places special emphasis on negotiated solutions that are in the best interest of both parties. When certain parties fail to act in good faith, however, Ray & Counsel is prepared to engage in litigation to protect the rights of its clients.
Areas of Expertise
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Recent Blog Publications
* Photograph by Johnny Silvercloud. No changes. License.
Leftwich v. County of Dakota, et al., No. 18-CV-01144 (JNE/BRT) (D. Minn. 2018) -- We are representing the survivor class of a deceased African-American for whom alleged various municipal officers and entities failed to provide adequate mental health treatment, and who, as a consequence, committed suicide while in custody. This case presents a substantial issue the manner in which individuals with mental health conditions are treated while in detention facilities, often without adequate assessment or access to treatment while in custody.
athenahealth, Inc. v. Lauren May, No. 16-CV-11770 (D. Mass. 2016) -- We are representing a female employee who was allegedly wrongfully terminated after she complained about alleged unlawful copyright infringement and misappropriate of trade secrets.
Snell-Jones v. Board of Review, and Hertz Corporation, et al., No. 2018-L-050092 (Ill. Cir. Ct. 2018) -- We represent an African-American female, both before the EEOC and the Illinois Department of Employment Security, who was allegedly terminated after she complained about sex discrimination in the workplace, and her employer has attempted to establish a defense by challenging her claims for unemployment.
Girand v. LiveTiles Corp., No. 17-CV-09005-ER (S.D.N.Y. 2017) -- We represent a cancer patient in ADA, ADEA wrongful termination and retaliation action, where he was allegedly terminated shortly after disclosing his cancer diagnosis and requesting reasonable accommodations so that he could continue his radiation therapy.
These employment cases reflects a growing concern of retaliation when employers receive complaints, either of discrimination or unlawful misconduct in the whistleblowing context, and rather than address the issue, begin to prepare a legal defense to justify a termination, and avoid the legal obligations placed upon them.
Wage and Hour Litigation
In addition to discrimination, a number of employers fail to comply with their wage and hour obligations to employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), and state wage and hour laws, in particular the requirements to pay overtime. Wage and hour litigation, especially collective action (under the FLSA) and class action (under state law) can be complex, and requires significant experience. Ray & Counsel has that experience, dealing with the complexities of class litigation under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to recover on behalf of numerous employees, and actual wage and hour litigation experience in federal courts. We are currently representing both plaintiff classes and employers in this area:
Estate of Alexandra Tomala v. Patient Innovation Center, NFP, et al., No. 2017-CV-08530 (N.D. Ill. 2017) -- We represent defendant nonprofit corporation and officers in this FLSA and Illinois wage and hour class action. This case is significant because it raises substantial questions concerning the pleading requirements that require plaintiffs to properly plead a cause of action, and the application of FLSA coverage to nonprofit organizations. We represent the nonprofit defendants, who help underserved communities secure healthcare coverage, in a case where the FLSA does not apply.
Stewart v. Machinery Marketing International, LLC, et al., No. 18-CV-6652 (N.D. Ill. 2018) -- We represent plaintiff in this putative FLSA collective and Illinois wage and hour class action, to recover overtime hours, where salaried employees were allegedly wrongly classified as exempt under the FLSA. This is a common example of employers failing in their obligations to review the law and properly pay their employees the full compensation to which they are entitled under the law.