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February 2012 Archives

ICE Workers go "Postal"

Earlier this month, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) workers went "postal" in the Los Angeles office of ICE. One ICE officer shot another three times, and a third ICE officer shot and killed the original shooter. Havoc ensued at the ICE office with smoke, blood and the smell of gunpowder. Did any of this surprise me....no, not at all.As many people know, ICE agents are gun-toting employees of the Department of Homeland Security. They are well known for arresting undocumented workers and for conducting immigration raids. What many people may not know, is that many employees of Homeland Security (including ICE) don't like each other and don't get along. I know this from talking to Homeland Security employees who talk about backstabbing and other unfair employment practices. While the workers ideally would work as a team, they often do not like each other, which impairs their ability to work together. And, as in the case in Los Angeles, when they carry guns, the dislike for one another can escalate to shooting one another. I currently represent an asylum office employee (within Homeland Security) and he has reported unfair promotions and assignments, and friendships based on national origin, etc within the Miami asylum office. In another case I handled against the U.S. Department of Treasury, I represented a gun-carrying agent who had her gun taken away when the government thought she was mentally unstable. From my experience meeting with Homeland Security employees, as well as watching how they make arbitrary decisions on immigration cases, it is obvious there is much disharmony and disagreement in their offices. When you add guns to that mixture, it was only a matter of time until someone would go "postal" and shoot their fellow worker with whom they disagreed. __________________________________________________________________________________________________About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, and, immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at [email protected], 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

Employee Rights: Pregnancy Discrimination is Illegal

Employers and companies all have anti-discriminatory policies, unfortunately even if this is so, there are still cases where employees experience and endure this. One form of employment discrimination that does not get much publicity, is pregnancy discrimination where employers are bias over their pregnant workers, forcing them to take a leave, work shorter hours or even discharging them because of their pregnancy. My law firm, Coane and Associates, handles a few of these cases every year. Here is an interesting article about pregnancy discrimination : Pregnancy Discrimination in America.photo from: Babble.com__________________________________________________________________________________________________About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, and, immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at [email protected], 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

Lawsuit Filed Against Homeland Security-Guru Orders No DNA Testing

I filed another lawsuit against Homeland Security this week, on behalf of client's seeking proof of citizenship for their child. Homeland Security is requiring DNA testing, yet my client's guru, says the child may not be tested nor receive any needles or injections. My clients are U.S. citizens and their child was born in India. They sought to register the child's birth at the U.S. Embassy in India and they passed-the-buck and refused to do it without DNA testing. Instead, the U.S. Embassy issued the child a visa so he could accompany his parents to the U.S. The child is now 10 years old and attending public school in Houston, Texas. He has a vaccination waiver from the State of Texas because of the family's religious beliefs, as verified by their guru. Other parties to the lawsuit include the U.S. Passport Agency and the Social Security Administration, who have refused to issue a passport and social security card, respectively, to the child. The lawsuit seeks to compel these government agencies to issue proper documents to the child. A federal judge in Houston will decide the case. mhg912PV __________________________________________________________________________________________________ About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, and, immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at [email protected], 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800. mhg912PV

Depositions continue in Carnival Cruise Line Race Discrimination case

I took another deposition yesterday in our client's race discrimination/retaliation case against Carnival Cruise Lines. The deposition took place at our Coane and Associates office in South Beach, not far from the Carnival headquarters in Miami.Today's deposition was of the Singer Supervisor, who auditions and hires singers to perform on Carnival cruise ships. Our client, a black male, was a production singer on board the Carnival Inspiration ship. After his six month tour as lead singer, he was not offered a renewal contract. Our client alleges that he was not renewed because he is black, and in retaliation for complaining about discrimination to the EEOC.At today's deposition, the supervisor said that our client is not barred from re-hire, but just isn't at the top of his list. Our client says he isn't at the top of the list because he is being retaliated against for complaining to the EEOC about alleged discriminatory practices. The case is set for jury trial on September 24 in federal court in Miami.__________________________________________________________________________________________________About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, and, immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at [email protected], 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

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