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Losing a job after reporting an act of bigotry

Freking Myers & Reul
Interesting article by James McNair from CityBeat:

Ex-Milacron electrician says he was fired after complaining about racial hate comment inscribed in bathroom

A Kennedy Heights man is claiming in a lawsuit that he was fired by a Batavia company after repeatedly complaining about a racially offensive comment written on a toilet paper dispenser in a factory bathroom.

The suit was filed last month in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati by Justin Evegan, who is black. Evegan alleges that Milacron Plastics Technologies Group, plant manager Tom McDonald and three other employees engaged in race discrimination and retaliation around his firing.

Evegan states that he was in a bathroom stall in August 2016 when he saw “Kill The Niggers” written on the toilet paper dispenser. Elsewhere in the stall, he claims, was an image of former President Obama riding a pig with a quote bubble saying “Allahu Akhbar” (Arabic for “God is great”). Above Obama was a group of balloons tied together by a noose.

Evegan says he reported the graffiti to his supervisor, who told him it had been removed. It wasn’t, Evegan says, so he took a picture of the phrase and showed it to his supervisor and, this time, McDonald. He says he was told it would be investigated.

When the phrase still hadn’t been removed, Evegan posted the picture on his Facebook page on Aug. 23 along with his comment, “This is what I have too deal with at my job. I told my forman (sic) two weeks ago about this and look. I bet if I put smthn up about another race it would be off the next day. #racismisSTILLreal.”

Evegan says he was fired Nov. 1 and that the phrase still hadn’t been removed the day prior to his dismissal.

“They claim they fired him for a different Facebook Live post about how hostile the work environment was,” says Evegan’s lawyer, Brian Butler of Cincinnati. “It depicted machines in the background, and the company says it violated their proprietary information policy.”

Evegan states he was originally hired by Milacron as an electrician in February 2016. Butler says Evegan has not found steady work since his firing. The lawsuit asks for unspecified financial damages and job reinstatement.

Milacron spokesman Michael Ellis says the company does not comment on pending lawsuits. But he says Milacron does not condone “the kind of behavior described in the lawsuit.”

“Milacron is committed to a fair workplace that is free from sexual, racial or other unlawful harassment, and from threats or acts of violence or physical intimidation,” Ellis says.

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Randy Freking Invited to Roundtable Discussion with Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez

Freking Myers & Reul

UPDATE:  Live feed of the roundtable discussion will begin at 11:30 a.m.  Follow this link:

https://www.facebook.com/InnovationOhio/

On Wednesday, July 20, United States Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez, will hold an open press round table discussion concerning local and national efforts to advance paid family leave. Secretary Perez will be joined by Ohio lawmakers, business owners, workers that are impacted by paid leave, and Randy Freking of Freking Myers & Reul.

The event will take place at Union Hall in Cincinnati (1311 Vine Street) from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

As a participant in the roundtable discussion, Randy will share his belief that paid family leave is good for business by recruiting and retaining outstanding employees. “The shame of the Family and Medical Leave Act is that it only provides 12 weeks of job protection and, worse, does not require that employees be paid during their medical leave. At our firm, we provide for paid leave of at least 90 days and it has resulted in an outstanding record of employee retention. It’s the right thing to do.”

RandyFreking2011-profile

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A Good Day at the Office

Freking Myers & Reul

Yesterday, a federal jury in Cincinnati determined Chipotle Mexican Grill wrongfully terminated three of our clients on the basis of their gender and violated the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Kelly Myers, Randy Freking and Kati Neff have been investigating and pursuing this case for over four years. Yesterday’s verdict was the culmination of a two week trial in U.S. District Court.

“We hope this sends a message to Denver that gender discrimination is not good for business,” Kelly Myers, as quoted by The Cincinnati Enquirer in their coverage of the verdict.

Here are links to other coverage of the verdict:

WCPO Channel 9 | WLWT Channel 5 | Fox19 Now | Cincinnati Business Courier

 

The Cincinnati Enquire

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Our New Name: Freking Myers & Reul!

Freking Myers & Reul

After 25 years as Freking & Betz, we are pleased to announce our new name, adding partners Kelly Mulloy Myers and George Reul in recognition of the outstanding contributions by Kelly and George to the growth of the firm, and their successes representing working people.

“After Jeff Betz retired from practice in Ohio, we maintained the name in recognition of Jeff’s status as a co-founder. Now, years later, it became clear that we should recognize the new generation of leaders both within our firm but also within the legal community,” said co-founder Randy Freking. “Jeff will continue to provide support to our Colorado office, but he does so on a part-time basis.”

Ms. Myers is a leader in the Cincinnati Bar Association.  She is a graduate of the Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers, Class VI and currently serves as a Board member and Secretary of the Association and as a Board member and President of the Cincinnati Bar Foundation.   She was recognized as the 2015 Southwest Ohio “Lawyer of the Year” in Employment Law by Best Lawyers in America and has been consistently recognized by Ohio Super Lawyers as one of the top 25 women lawyers in Cincinnati.

Ms. Myers, a 1995 graduate of the University of Cincinnati Law School, joined the firm in 1996, and became a Partner in 2005.  Kelly earned a Master of Arts in Labor and Employment Relations from the University of Cincinnati in 1996 and was one of the first attorneys in Ohio to be certified as a specialist in Labor and Employment Law by the Ohio State Bar Association.  Kelly lives in Wyoming, Ohio with her husband, Todd, and daughter, Riley.

Mr. Reul has participated in jury trials in both state and federal court in Ohio and received favorable jury verdicts.  He has also represented employees at the Ohio Court of claims, as well as in mediation and arbitration.  Law and Politics Magazine has recognized George as an Ohio Rising Star.

George is a 1998 graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Law, joined the firm in 1998, and became a Partner in 2006. George received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University graduating with distinction and membership in Phi Beta Kappa.  He is a member of the Cincinnati Employment Lawyers Association and National Employment Lawyers Association, as well as the Cincinnati Bar Association, and American Bar Associations.  George lives in Anderson Township with his wife, Jill and two sons, Henry and James.

Along with the new name comes our new and updated website (www.fmr.law) and, of course, new email addresses for all of the members of the firm. For example, George can now be contacted at GReul@fmr.law. Don’t worry – during the transition, the former email addresses will seamlessly forward to the new address.

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