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Tax USA Unpaid Overtime Class Action Lawsuit

In this employment class action lawsuit, a former non-exempt marketing employee of MTS Taxes & More, LLC, doing business in Florida as Tax USA is alleging that during the period of June 2011 thorugh 2012, he clocked roughly 48 hours per week without receiving any compensation whatsoever. He argues that defendants breached a verbal agreement to pay him between seven and nine percent of the company's revenue, ultimately paying him nothing.

According to the complaint, the defendants in this case operated as an organization selling or marketing its services to customers from throughout the United States, providing its services across state lines and generating in excess of $500,000 per annum, thereby meeting coverage requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. As such, plaintiff Jean Murat was and is entitled to the wage and overtime protections of the Act, thereby forming the basis of his lawsuit.

The plaintiff alleges specifically that as a condition of his employment, he entered into a verbal agreement with the defendants under which he would receive compensation totaling seven to nine percent of the firm's revenue in exchange for services rendered. During the relevant period, the plaintiff worked an average of 48 hours a week, well in excess of the 40 hours required before overtime pay obligations are incurred by the employer. However, it is alleged, he actually received nothing whatsoever in the way of compensation.

It is argued that the owners and operators of MTS Taxes & More knew of their obligations under the FLSA and/or recklessly disregarded their duty to pay the plaintiff and other similarly situated individuals overtime wages due. Plaintiff Murat also alleges that defendants' failure to post required notices under the FLSA informing employees of their rights under the law precludes them from raising the statute of limitations as a defense in this action. 

Plaintiff Murat is seeking an award of actual damages in the amount shown due for unpaid wages and interest, an equal amount in liquidated damages, attorney fees and costs, all pursuant to relevant provisions of the FLSA as well as Florida's Minimum Wage Act. He also seeks damages under a theory of quantum meruit for the reasonable value of services he rendered to defendants as well as a theory of unjust enrichment conferred upon defendants by virtue of the work he performed.

The underlying purpose of the Fair Labor Standards Act, also commonly referred to as the Wages and Hours Bill, is to establish a minimum wage, rules for overtime pay and record keeping standards benefitting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector as well as those employed by federal, state and local government entities. The Act applies to employees who are "engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, or who are employed by an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce." Typically speaking, an employer doing at least $500,000 of business or has $500,000 in gross sales annually will fall under the requirements of the FLSA, provided no other exception is applicable. Thus, such enterprises will be obliged to follow minimum wage, overtime and all other regulations when it comes to their employees.

Florida's Minimum Wage Act functions in a similar fashion to its federal counterpart, though Florida Law requires a recalculation of the state minimum wage each year, and employees who do not receive that amount may bring a civil acgtion against their emplolyer or any other person violating the law. The state attorney general may also bring an enforcement action in situations where the minimum wage law is not being followed.

 

LSB Industries (LXU) Securities Fraud Class Action Lawsuit

     This class action complaint is brought against LSB Industries, Inc., a manufacturing and marketing company, for making false public statements about the estimated costs of expanding its El Dorado Facility and, thereby, artificially inflating its net revenues.

Who Is Affected?

     This is a class action on behalf of purchasers of LSB common stock between May 8, 2015 and August 7, 2015, inclusive, pursuing remedies under the Exchange Act of 1934.  LSB manufactures and sells chemical products for the agricultural, mining and industrial markets as well as commercial and residential climate control products, such as water source and geothermal heat pumps, hydronic fan coils, modular geothermal and other chillers and large custom air handlers.  LSB is incorporated in Delaware and has its principal place of business in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Its shares trade on NYSE under the ticker symbol “LXU.”

Procedural History

     This class action lawsuit was filed on September 25, 2015 and is captioned Dennis Wilson et al. v. LSB Industries, Inc. et al.  It was filed in the New York Southern District Court and the civil docket number is 1:15-cv-07614.  The class period runs from May 8, 2015 through August 7, 2015, inclusive.

     On May 8, 2015, at the beginning of the class period, LSB released its 2015 First Quarter report, wherein it stated that the El Dorado facility expansion project remained “on time and on budget.”

     On July 14, 2015, LSB issued a press release entitled “LSB Industries, Inc. Updates Status of El Dorado Facility Expansion,” wherein it disclosed that LSB’s El Dorado factory expansion project would run over budget, increasing from $495 million to $575 million.  LSB’s CEO, Barry Golsen, stated that the factors contributing to the increase in cost were productivity and quality issues with a subcontractor responsible for the installation of piping in the plant and that the original project estimates were based upon specific quantities of construction materials and labor-hours provided by the construction contractor.  The news caused LSB’s stock to fall 4% the following day. 

     On August 7, 2015, LSB announced that the expansion budget has gone up again to $680 million, which was significantly higher than the original $495 estimate.  The total cost of the project exceeded the previously projected, due to work performed by a previous subcontractor.  The announcement caused LSB stock to drop again over 34% the very same day.

     On September 3, 2015, LSB issued a press release announcing LSB’s leadership transition and that Barry Golsen will be stepping down as CEO, effective immediately.  While the report does not tie Golsen’s termination to the inadequate management and supervision of the El Dorado expansion project, it would seem the former was causally related to the expansion estimates mistakes. 

Axe and Degree Deodorant Slack Fill Class Action Lawsuit

This class action suit alleges Unilever engaged in deceptive business practices in the packaging of several personal care deodorant products in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and state consumer laws.  

Unilever United States, Inc.  markets, sells and distributes  various personal products,  including “Degree Dry Protection” (Degree) and “Axe Gold Temptation” (Axe) anti-perspirants and deodorants (“Products”).  Degree is available in Clean, Cool Comfort, Extreme Blast, Power and Sport scents.  Axe is a line of anti-perspirants and deodorants available as deodorant and anti-perspirant and deodorant sticks.  Unilever sells the Products at supermarket chains, convenience stores and major retail outlets nationwide, including CVS, Costco, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Rite Aid.

The complaint alleges that the actual 2.7 ounce deodorant sticks, which are approximately  2 1/2” wide and 3” long, are sold in a container that is approximately 5 ¾“ high and 2 ¾” wide.  The size of the container is alleged to have almost 3” of non-functional slack fill, or 48% of slack-fill, designed to give the false impression that there is more Product than is actually in the container, in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and the New York General Business Code.   Federal regulations describe a product to be “misbranded” if  “a container is so made, formed or filled as to be misleading.”  “Non-functional slack-fill” is defined as the empty space in a package that is filled to less than capacity for reasons other than authorized by  FDCA regulations. The complaint alleges that the packaging of the Unilever Products are intended to make it appear to the reasonable consumer that the consumer is buying more that what is actually being sold.

New York resident Timba Bimont purchased numerous Axe and Degree Products. Bimont filed suit against Unilever in United States District Court Southern District of New York on September 24, 2014, on behalf of himself and others, alleging Unilever engaged in deceptive and otherwise improper business practices in the packaging of the Products.  Unilever is claimed to have routinely employed slack-filled packaging containing non-functional slack-fill to mislead customers into believing they were receiving more than was actually included in the package. The complaint alleges purchasers viewed the misleading Product packaging, reasonably relied on the representations by Unilever, and were deceived into purchasing the Products for a premium price.

The complaint references the deceptive and unfair practices and/or consumer protection laws in New York and all other states that provide the same protections as the FDCA and alleges Unilever was unjustly enriched by the deceptive sales of its Products nationwide.  The suit seeks class action certification, damages, attorney fees  and an injunction requiring repackaging of the Products.

 

 

WEN Conditioner Hair Loss Class Action Lawsuit

On July 31, 2014, a class action suit was filed against Guthy-Renker, the maker of WEN Cleansing Conditioner, claiming the product causes significant hair loss. Amy Friedman filed the lawsuit on behalf of herself and the class members similarly situated. The complaint contends that an inherent defect or the manufacturing design of WEN Conditioner causes its users to lose considerable amounts of their hair with no warning that this is a possible outcome of applying the product to their scalp. In fact, WEN Conditioner is marketed using such slogans as, “WEN is gentle enough to use every day,” and, “You can never use too much! The more you use, the better the results.”

 

Guthy-Renker is a Santa-Monica, CA-based direct-response marketing company. They sell their products through infomercials, direct mail, TV ads, telemarketing, and the Internet. The class action suit filed against Guthy-Renker alleges that the company was not only selling a defective product, but that the company was aware of the problems with WEN Conditioner for a long period of time, and concealed its true damaging nature.

 

WEN Conditioner comes in several variations, such as Sweet Almond Mint, Lavender, Pomegranate, and Summer Honey Peach. The lawsuit contends that once hair loss tied to the use of WEN Conditioner begins, it can continue for weeks before subsiding. Consumers have reported losing a quarter to a third—or more—of their hair after using the product. Thus, the consumers are then compelled to spend money on costly remedies to regain hair and hide the damages from using WEN. The class action suit alleges that Guthy-Renker has known or should have known about consumer complaints regarding hair loss due to WEN Conditioner for a time period of four years or more. Not only did Guthy-Renker fail to warn consumers of the damaging effects of WEN, the company actively concealed evidence by blocking and/or erasing customer complaints from the WEN Facebook page. Instead, consumers were led to believe WEN Cleansing Conditioner was safe and a quality far different than promised. The plaintiff and class members contend that had they been aware of the damaging nature of WEN, they would not have bought it.

 

The plaintiff and class members are seeking compensation for injuries and economic damages.

 

Whole Foods All Natural Products Class Action Lawsuit

This lawsuit alleges that Whole Foods Market engaged in unfair and deceptive practices by selling products falsely and misleadingly labeled “All Natural” when the products contained synthetic ingredients in violation of state consumer protection laws.  Specifically, certain food products that Whole Foods Market described and advertised as “All Natural”  are alleged to contain the synthetic chemical ingredient Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (SAPP) in violation of  federal laws and regulations and state consumer protection laws.  

Whole Food Market, Inc. (WFM), the Texas based national supermarket chain specializing in natural and organic foods, sells various products referred to as “All Natural” including:

·  All Natural Banana Bran Mini Muffins

·  All Natural Blueberry Mini Muffins

·  All Natural Coffee Cake Mini Muffins

·  All Natural Chocolate Chip Soft Baked Cookies

·  All Natural Oatmeal Raisin Soft Baked Cookies

·  All Natural Snickerdoodle Soft Baked Cookies

·  All Natural Gluten Free Apple Pie

·  All Natural Gluten Free Cheddar Biscuits

·  All Natural Gluten Free Corn Bread

·  All Natural Gluten Free Molasses Ginger Cookies

·  All Natural Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

·  All Natural Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes

During the period from November 8, 2009 through November 8, 2013, California residents Mary and Grace Garrison purchased various items (Products) from a San Francisco Whole Foods on multiple occasions, including:

  • All Natural Blueberry Mini Muffins
  • All Natural Snickerdoodle Soft Baked Cookies
  • All Natural Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
  • All Natural Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes
  • All Natural Gluten Free Molasses Ginger Cookies

The Garrisons filed a class action suit against Whole Foods in the United States District Court Northern District of California on November 8, 2103, on behalf of themselves and other purchasers of such items, alleging Whole Foods knowingly engaged in the unfair, unlawful, deceptive, and fraudulent practice of describing and falsely advertising certain products as “All Natural” when, in fact, they contained SAPP and other synthetic ingredients (e.g. Maltodextrin).  The Garrisons claimed they purchased the products after reading and relying on the truthfulness of the Whole Foods labels’ promise that the Products were “All Natural” and that they paid a premium price for the Products than they would have paid if the products were not “All Natural” (i.e. did not contain any admitted man-made synthetic ingredients).

SAPP, an odorless white powder, also referred to as disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate and/or disodium pyrophosphate, has various applications, including use in leather treatment to remove iron stains on hides during processing, to stabilizing hydrogen peroxide solutions against reduction, to facilitating hair removal in hog slaughter, to feather removal from birds in poultry slaughter, to use in petroleum production. Warnings indicate excessive use of SAPP can lead to imbalanced levels of minerals in the body and bone loss. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has generally defined the permissible use of the term “All Natural.”  The FDA does not generally consider a product to be “natural” if  it contains color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.

The complaint seeks class action certification for the purchasers of these advertised “All Natural” Whole Foods products and damages, injunctive relief and restitution for the alleged deceptive and unfair business practices by Whole Foods in violation of FDA regulations and state consumer protection statutes.

Wal-Mart Pharmacy Unsolicited Auto Calls Class Action Lawsuit

Florida resident James Poole is heading a class action lawsuit against Wal-Mart, alleging the mega-company has violated FCC telemarketing laws by contacting previous pharmacy users on their cell phones for non-emergency purposes. The calls were made using artificial or prerecorded voices related to prescription medications. The complaint contends that Wal-Mart did not have permission to call the cell phone numbers, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits such calls without prior or written consent from the recipient.

 

Wal-Mart, the enormous discount retail conglomerate, in an effort to compete with other pharmacies, began utilizing automated calls to solicit their services to previous pharmacy users. Wal-Mart had retained access to the users cell phone numbers. The class action suit claims Wal-Mart acted in violation of the TCPA, which was enacted in an effort to prevent harassing sales calls to private citizens who did not consent to being contacted. The Act also states that when a telemarketer “willfully or knowingly” contacts a consumer after he or she notifies the company not to contact the person any further, damages rise substantially.

 

Poole asserts that several years after the last time he used a Wal-Mart pharmacy, he began receiving automated prerecorded messages on his cell phone regarding prescription medications. Poole did not have medications at any Wal-Mart pharmacy. He also never gave consent to Wal-Mart to receive artificial or prerecorded calls, a direct infringement of the TCPA. Poole voiced his objections to Wal-Mart, yet the calls continued. Poole was filling his prescriptions at one of Wal-Mart’s competitors, and the calls were a sales attempt to regain Poole’s patronage. The messages offered an automated way of opting out of future calls, which Poole did, but the calls did not stop. Instead, the sales message replayed when Poole pushed the opt-out button. Poole alleges that he contacted Wal-Mart’s corporate office, and was told they could not stop the calls.

 

The number of class members in this particular suit is estimated to be at least in the thousands. The suit asserts that Wal-Mart willfully violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act with each automated or prerecorded sales call made without the recipient’s consent.

 

 

Contact Lens Antitrust Class Action Lawsuit

This class action alleges that Cooper Vision, Alcon Laboratories, Bausch + Lomb, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, and ABB Optical Group violated federal and state antitrust laws through Unilateral Pricing Policies (UPPs) for disposable contact lenses.

The nationwide class for this lawsuit includes all persons in the US who purchased disposable contact lenses manufactured by Alcon Laboratories, Bausch + Lomb, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, and Cooper Vision, where the prices for the contacts were set via  Unilateral Pricing Policy. There are also Maryland and California subclasses. The class period is from June 1, 2013 to the present.

Evidence given at a Senate Hearing shows that nearly 39 million Americans wear contact lenses, spending approximately $4.2 billion dollars per year on these products. Approximately 90% of these contact lenses are the disposable type which are replaced on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. 

According to testimony given at the Senate Hearing, four of the defendants in this case—Cooper Vision, Alcon Laboratories, Bausch + Lomb, and Johnson & Johnson—together control 97% of the US contact lens market. The fifth, the ABB Optical Group, is the largest distributor of contact lenses in the US; more than two-thirds of eye care professionals (ECPs) buy lenses from ABB.

The FDA considers disposable contact lenses to be Class II or Class III devices, which may be purchased only with a prescription from an ECP. Prescriptions include not only the type and power of the lenses, but also the particular brand of contact required.

The complaint says that ECPs thus may prescribe whichever lenses provide them with the largest profit margins and may refuse to prescribe a manufacturer’s lenses if their profit margins are undercut by more efficient retailers. Thus the manufacturers have an interest in seeing that ECP prices for their lenses are not undercut.

The complaint alleges that ECPs and contact manufacturers have tried to limit price competition from mass merchandisers (like “big box” stores) and Internet retailers. It claims and that all four manufacturers conspired with each other as well as with wholesaler ABB to impose minimum retail prices on certain contact lens lines and to forbid selling these products at a discount.

Over fifteen months, beginning in June 2013, the complaint alleges, the four manufacturers set in place a UPP consisting of minimum resale price maintenance requirements. It claims that these were not “unilateral” pricing policies but the result of an agreement to limit price competition reached only after extensive consultation with independent ECPs and the ABB. The complaint also cites a 1996 lawsuit (eventually settled) that claimed that manufacturers had conspired with ECPs to restrict the supply of contact lenses to alternative sources of distribution such as mail-order houses.

The class action thus alleges that the manufacturers and distributor have violated the Sherman Act as well as state antitrust and unfair competition laws.

 

Pulse Restaurant Unpaid Overtime Class Action Lawsuit

In this lawsuit a former banquet server for private events at Pulse Restaurant in New York City is alleging that during her time as an employee she was routinely underpaid for total hours worked, denied gratuity amounts to which she was entitled and was not provided with accurate wage statements as required by law.

Defendant 1285 Bakery, Inc. is a New York Corporation that owns and operates a private event business at Pulse Restaurant in New York City. The defendant company has an annual gross volume in excess of $500,000, and is owned by Nicholas Castigliano, who also has authority to hire and fire employees at the facility. Castigliano also has authority over matters of employee scheduling, discipline, payroll issues and record-keeping at the restaurant.

According to the complaint, plaintiff Ginger Masoud was employed sporadically as a banquet server by Pulse Restaurant at Rockefeller Center from mid-2013 to early 2015. The plaintiff alleges that over the course of her employment by 1285 Bakery, Inc., d/b/a/ Pulse Restaurant, she was often not paid for her true hours worked, was never informed exactlay how she would be compensated for work performed, did not receive accurate accountings of wages and hours worked and did not receive the overtime premium for working more than 40 hours in a week or New York's "spread of hours" premium for working days longer than 10 hours. Gratuities routinely went unpaid despite the fact that the defendant charged 20% service charges to private event customers.

As a result of her experience as an employee working at Pulse Restaurant, the plaintiff is alleging overtime violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, violation of the New York Minimum Wage Act, illegal deductions of gratuities under the New York Labor Law, violations of the New York Labor Law's Spread of Hours Provisions and violations of the New York notice requirements under its Labor Law.

Plaintiff seeks to have this lawsuit designated as a collective action and federal class action and to be appointed representative of the class of similarly situated individuals. She is also pursuing damages, including liquidated damages, penalties provided by law, attorney fees and interest.

http://pulse-restaurant.com/learn/rockefeller-plaza.php

http://www.rockefellercenter.com/food-and-drink/pulse-restaurant-bar/

Pulse Restaurant Unpaid Overtime Class Action Lawsuit

In this lawsuit a former banquet server for private events at Pulse Restaurant in New York City is alleging that during her time as an employee she was routinely underpaid for total hours worked, denied gratuity amounts to which she was entitled and was not provided with accurate wage statements as required by law.

Defendant 1285 Bakery, Inc. is a New York Corporation that owns and operates a private event business at Pulse Restaurant in New York City. The defendant company has an annual gross volume in excess of $500,000, and is owned by Nicholas Castigliano, who also has authority to hire and fire employees at the facility. Castigliano also has authority over matters of employee scheduling, discipline, payroll issues and record-keeping at the restaurant.

According to the complaint, plaintiff Ginger Masoud was employed sporadically as a banquet server by Pulse Restaurant at Rockefeller Center from mid-2013 to early 2015. The plaintiff alleges that over the course of her employment by 1285 Bakery, Inc., d/b/a/ Pulse Restaurant, she was often not paid for her true hours worked, was never informed exactlay how she would be compensated for work performed, did not receive accurate accountings of wages and hours worked and did not receive the overtime premium for working more than 40 hours in a week or New York's "spread of hours" premium for working days longer than 10 hours. Gratuities routinely went unpaid despite the fact that the defendant charged 20% service charges to private event customers.

As a result of her experience as an employee working at Pulse Restaurant, the plaintiff is alleging overtime violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, violation of the New York Minimum Wage Act, illegal deductions of gratuities under the New York Labor Law, violations of the New York Labor Law's Spread of Hours Provisions and violations of the New York notice requirements under its Labor Law.

Plaintiff seeks to have this lawsuit designated as a collective action and federal class action and to be appointed representative of the class of similarly situated individuals. She is also pursuing damages, including liquidated damages, penalties provided by law, attorney fees and interest.

http://pulse-restaurant.com/learn/rockefeller-plaza.php

http://www.rockefellercenter.com/food-and-drink/pulse-restaurant-bar/

QLogic (QLGC) Securities Fraud Class Action Lawsuit

     This complaint is regarding a securities fraud class action against QLogic Corporation, a leading supplier of high performance network infrastructure solutions, for allegations of materially misleading the investing public by inflating the price of QLogic’s common stock and publicly issuing false and misleading statements, which failed to disclose material adverse information and misrepresented the truth about QLogic’s business, operations, and prospects.

Who Is Affected?

     This federal securities fraud class action is brought on behalf of a class consisting of all purchasers of QLogic’s securities between April 30, 2015 and July 30, 2015, inclusive, seeking to pursue remedies under the Exchange Act of 1934.  QLogic designs and supplies server and storage networking infrastructure products that provide, enhance, and manage computer data communication facilitating transfer of data and enable resource sharing between servers, networks, and storage.  QLogic is incorporated in Delaware with its principal place of business located in Aliso Viejo, California.  Its shares trade on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “QLGC.”

Procedural History

     This class action lawsuit was filed on September 28, 2015 and is captioned Phyllis Hull et al. v. QLogic Corporation, et al.  It was filed in the California Central District Court and the civil docket number is 2:15-cv-07617.  The class period runs from April 30, 2015 through July 30, 2015, inclusive.

     On July 9, 2015, QLogic issued a press release reporting a preliminary net revenue of approximately $113 million for the first quarter of 2016, which is roughly $20 million below the forcasted range of $124 to $132 million.  QLogic revealed that its financial results have been negatively impacted by lower than expected demand due to general weakness in its traditional enterprise server and storage markets, and a build-up of inventory at a major original equipment manufacturer customer due to a slower next-generation server transition in enterprise environments.”  Following this announcement, QLogic’s stock price fell over 21% the very same day.

     On July 30, 2015, QLogic announced its actual net revenue for first fiscal quarter of 2016 confirming it at $113.4 million.  Following the announcement, QLogic’s stock fell another 22% the following day.  The forecasted revenue of $133 million is drawn from QLogic’s Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2015 Results press release published on April 30, 2015.  Therein, QLogic’s CEO, Prasad Rampalli, praised its company’s expansion of market share position and product development success, both of which dictated the 13% increase of revenue during fiscal year 2015. 

     Following the July 30, 2015 fiscal quarter report, it became clear that Rampalli’s statements were false or, at least, unrealistic given the information known to him at that time.  The complaint alleges that Rampalli and his fellow executives were aware the build-up in inventory would stagnate sales and artificially shrink QLogic’s product demand.  In addition, a slower-than-predicted transition to a next-generation server had further impacted QLogic’s market share.