Karen Bass re Hyundai
to Sale of Property
Los Angeles Rent Control
LA Civil Rights Lawsuit re Hi Point Apts
the Law Firm
Manatt Named in EEOC Complaint
LOS ANGELES - Law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips is named in a discrimination complaint filed with the EEOC dated May 25 2017. EEOC case number 480-2017-01073.
Manatt is located at 11355 W Olympic Blvd in los Angeles 90064 and has offces across the country.
The EEOC was forwarded state EDD Judge decision dated February 27 2017 Case no. 5878723. In that case it was ruled that Manatt and CEO William Quicksilver engaged in fradulent misrepresentation regarding the classfication of wages used as a basis for the January employee layoff.
The EEOC charge reads: "I was hired by Manatt Phelps & Phillips on or around May 17, 2007 as a Clerk. On or about February 24, 2015 I filed an EEOC charge of discrimination (EEOC charge number 480-2015-01259). On or about August 12, 2016 I filed a second EEOC charge of discrimination (EEOC charge number 480-2016-02770). On or about January 19, 2017 I was discharged. The reason given for my discharge was due to job elimination. In or about January 2017 I was given a Confidential and Separation and Release agreement that did not comply with the provisions of the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBP). I believe I have been discriminated against because of my sex (male), my race (Black), and in retaliation for participating in protected activity, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; my age [age redacted] in violation of the Age Discrimination Act of 1967, as amended; and my disability in violation of the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, as amended."
[Editor: stay tuned for more news]
Manatt sued for wrongful
Termination and false and deceptive
Janet Gallagher Says Clients Were Routinely Overcharged
Updated April 13, 2017
Los Angeles- Law firm Manatt Phelps and Phillips was sued in Los Angeles Superior Court February 23 2017 for wrongful termination, unlawful discrimination, and false and deceptive business practices. The complaint is 228 pages with exhibits; case BC651608.
[The court has not scanned copies of the Complaint for online viewing, however over the next few weeks we will scan the complete case to this website. Print copies can be ordered from the Los Angeles Superior Court Filing clerk at 1st Street and Hill 90012].
Here is some of the documents as they appear on the Court website. The links here are to viewable pages where you have the option to print or download.]
Court Docket Manatt Phelps Phillips Sued
Summons Johnson v Manatt BC 651608 Wrongful Termination
Redacted Complaint Johnson v Manatt BC 651608 Wrongful Termination
Manatt Retaliates Against Worker Who Claimed Racism
[worker name, address have been redacted]
August 15 2016
Dominic J. Messiha
Littler Mendelson, P.C.
2049 Century Park East 5th Floor
Los Angeles CA 90067
Rosa M Viramontes
255 E. Temple Street 4th Floor
Los Angeles CA 90012
MANATT PHELPS PHILLIPS
11355 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90064
Via First Class Mail/Priority Mail
Re: EEOC and Retaliation Charges Against Manatt Phelps Phillips
To whom it may concern:
Part I: HISTORY
This is meant to be illustrative but not all inclusive.
I would like to think I have had some good jobs where people treated me pretty fair. Those jobs may
have been few and far between though. One of my best jobs was as a truck driver of sorts --- like those
lunch trucks --- where I was on the road most of the day. I was pretty much my own boss except for the
guy who I leased the truck from and ordered the stock. But that is more of a distributor than a boss.
Working in sales has its own ups and downs.
My first job with a law firm was doing data entry for about a year of database research. Prior to that I
had worked for various government agencies like local and state with pretty much dismal experiences.
One job as a government official I resigned from and it was featured in the local newspapers. I still
think government is corrupt and in no way interested in efficiency and professionalism, somewhat like
So back to law firms. I progressed to being hired as a records clerk. Pretty much has been a middle of
the road job for me. But before that...I did one of those distance learning schools and completed
paralegal training where I was taught also how to draft and file lawsuits. I worked at a dismal place
called Amtrak who was being sued for racial discrimination. I worked at answering machine company
called Record a Call. Nice job until one day a supervisor yelled at me. Naturally I cried
"discrimination". I will never forget how the company handled it. They called me into a meeting. The
accused read my complaint letter out loud word for word and admitted as true every word as I had said
it. But he ended by saying that he wasn’t discriminating against me. The moral of the story is he left the
company before I did and "Hip Hip Hurray" I did not sue them.
That same memorable job a supervisor from shipping noticed that his department was sometimes
getting the wrong mail. So instead of just bringing it to our immediate attention in my department
office services, he held onto the mail for three months just so he could make an issue of it at the
department meeting. When they found out he was unknowingly holding onto vendor checks that had
been unaccounted for; well, let’s just say he quickly left the job before I did.
The first time I sued anyone was FHP medical center who had promised to hire me full time from temp.
I also sued the temp agency who eventually admitted that the company had told them and they had
noted in writing that I was to go temp to perm. The Judge said it was not breach of contract but may
have been breach of promise. A lesson of sorts for me. It’s pretty clear I have not sued every company I
have worked for, but some people feel I have. At one law firm I got the Records Manager to give me a
letter of apology after I caught him in a lie about my job performance.
I did sue Amtrak and Metrolink. And I sued a couple of law firms. It did slow me down when one law
firm got attorney fees against me but I was able to reduce that in a bankruptcy from about $20,000 to
$2,000. I don’t think I am predisposed towards law firms because around 1994 I sued the Long Beach
Jaycees and three others including two newspapers in my race for Mayor of Long Beach. I got a fair
amount of press coverage out of that lawsuit [I had gotten a full page in the FHP lawsuit] and I will
always wonder would I have gotten less or more coverage if I had not sued the newspapers. It came
from a miscommunication form my pastor who had said "just sue them" and I thought by ‘them’ he
meant everybody when in fact he only meant the Jaycees. Oh well.
I have never hired a lawyer to represent me. I also sued my sister as well as Hyundai Motor America. I
have also filed numerous appeals and appeared before an appellate court against the state labor
commissioner and even filed before a Supreme Court. Circa 2004 I was involved in bankruptcy
proceedings against the Internal Revenue Service. At one point they served a document on me that
contained 100 cases. I looked up almost every case and determined most of the cases they used were
not on point. I thought I had a good change of winning. And I did win when the appellate court ruled
against the IRS. I beat the IRS and it felt good to have a victory with about $16,000 attached to it.
So the moral of the story is that it is easy to sue but it is not easy to win. But there’s a part of me who
would love to say that I sued someone and got that big punitive damage award. But there’s another part
of me who would love to say I was able to work on a job, separate from the job, and be able to say I
never sued them. But I am philosophical and have a moral conscience about the whole thing.
As far as the resolve of diversity/discrimination issues, I believe Manatt is a lost cause. So I write this
letter not as a resolve but for purposes of the EEOC and my own sense of memorialization, because I
believe the EEOC is a lost cause also.
Manatt uses Subjective Evaluation Reviews. "The biggest knock against subjective performance
evaluations is that the employee's performance is in the eye of the evaluator. A manager who has bias or
ill will toward an employee is more likely to take an especially critical view of her performance. A
major risk with this is that subjective evaluations could lead to legal claims of discrimination, notes
Allison & Taylor Reference Checking. This is especially an issue if an employer is shown to
discriminate or terminate employees because they are part of a legally protected class based on such
traits as gender, marital status, disability and race." http://smallbusiness.chron.com/subjectiveperformance-
Manatt’s employment review process is inherently discriminatory.
"Performance issues should be brought to the attention of the employee in an immediate and instructive manner." Every Employee’s Guide to the Law, by Lewin G. Joel III
In the overabundant exhibits presented to the EEOC, the evidence show that in many cases Manatt
fabricated and painted a false pictures of my work product, and that in many if not all cases Manatt
acted in a manner that was vague and lacking in specificity as regards the communication of work
product deadlines, and Manatt did not bring performance issues to my attention in an immediate and
instructive manner. The EEOC claims they could not find sufficient evidence of this, or did not have
the manpower or English comprehension skills, so I say let’s eliminate the EEOC as a government
agency and save the taxpayer’s money.
"… the Firm prohibits discrimination and/or retaliation for cooperating with officials in investigating claimed violations of the law, cooperating or participating in any investigation, administrative hearing or judicial action regarding an alleged violation, opposing any policy or practice that is prohibited by the law, or informing any person of his or her potential rights under law." Manatt written policy.
Of course the evidence shows that such policy does not apply to me. It is undisputed that Manatt admitted to unlawful retaliation. Witness the August 11 2014 email from me sent firm wide. Subject Re: Help Bring Manatt’s Values to Life---A Message to the Entire Firm", which is a response to Bill Quicksilver’s August 9 2014 email. As I include Quicksilver’s email in which he uses the words "diversity" [sic discrimination]; he also uses the words "respect" and "teamwork." I provide in the email a link to a website which states in part:
"Performance standards state what behaviors or results are expected for performance to be considered satisfactory. Standards are the criteria against which performance is judged.
"Standards should be:
• measurable, and
• stated in terms of quality, quantity, timeliness, or cost.
Involve the employee in the development of standards. Be certain the standards describe the conditions
that will be met when performance is satisfactory. For example, how well, how much, what speed, etc.
is expected. Performance standards are the basis for performance evaluation and should clearly state
how you and the employee will recognize when expectations have been met, exceeded, or not met. "
The EEOC supports Manatt’s contentions that my work was substandard ----ignoring my
discrimination claims ----but I don’t see that Manatt or the EEOC has provided my actual written job
duties or description or standards of performance. Where is my job description, EEOC?
The EEOC also ignores the mountains of evidence of Manatt work product that prove I was performing my job duties and meeting Manatt standards and prove that Manatt does not have a legitimate business reason for its actions.
All this is lost on the EEOC and Manatt because Manatt’s only objective is retaliation, which it
does in memos dated February 24 2015 discipline entitled, "Performance Feedback" and "Inappropriate
Use of Firm Equipment and Email". It can’t be ignored here that the memo "performance feedback" is
retaliatory because Manatt had just given me performance feedback review just eighteen days earlier on
Feb. 6 2015. If not for retaliation, why would Manatt give me a second feedback? There are other facts
that point to retaliation by Manatt: the January 27 2015 email exchange with supervisor Julian Roberts
and employee Patty Snyder where Roberts says, "I made the change because for the past two years
[emphasis added] Blackman has been overwhelmed with the amount of filing that he receives from you.
Currently a lot of your filing sits in boxes in the Records Center for months before Blackman has time to
sort, make new volumes and put the files away"; the Feb 6 2015 review for 2014 where Roberts states,
"Blackman responds to basic requests from his group with a positive attitude and takes appropriate action
with an agreed upon time frame" yet prior to this he states in the same document, "In 2014 Blackman
continued to struggle to keep up with the demands of his desk. Blackman has not shown the ability to sort
file and make new volumes in a timely manner for the large amount of documents that he received
from one of his secretaries. In February I had a discussion with Blackman about 7 boxes of filing that he
had not sorted. Blackman stated that he was waiting for additional filing that was older than the filing that
he currently has. Blackman further stated that if he sorted and put away the current filing he would have to
take apart the files in order to integrate the older filing. I gave Blackman a couple of suggestions on how to
proceed without having to take apart the files. I then sorted four of the boxes for Blackman and showed
them how to put the filing in a red well (half full) which would make it easier for him to integrate
additional filing later. I also advised Blackman that after integrating the older filing he needs to put the
filing in manila folders and change the volume number to reflect the changes. Even after assigning one
of the clerks to assist Blackman with his filing, he still can't get caught up (to reach a state of parody or
being able to cope). Later in the year I noticed that Blackman was not putting the correspondence in the
manila folders and some of the filing in the red Wells were not in chronological order." [Of course it
was not important for Roberts to bring this to my attention in an immediate instructive manner. This is
why Roberts has failed to offer a legitimate business reason for his actions.]
As of today’s date, Manatt has not stated that it has removed the February 24, 2016 memos from my personnel file. Manatt has not responded. Date of injury: today.
It is a script here that Manatt has devised to disparage my work character, a script that has nothing to do
with my actual job performance, such superior performance proven by the numerous documents
provided to the EEOC. My agenda which is not so hidden is that I am just trying to perform my job
duties in a superior manner; just trying to be accurate, communicate, and act as a team player, while
that is not what Manatt wants. Manatt’s agenda is discrimination and retaliation. Manatt has to paint the
picture to deny to me as a Black American the benefits and privileges of employment. Soon as I
complain about discrimination, the retaliatory performance reviews and memos come out!
Let’s dissect what Roberts said for a fact check. I note here that is it difficult to validate what Roberts
said simply because he is recalling something that happened a year ago presumably. Roberts also gives
no indication of what other work was on my desk, requests from other secretaries, and what amount of
discretion I was to use to prioritize the work being received or what if any deadlines he expected me to
follow, in that aspect his words are vague and lacking in specificity. In a law firm, deadlines often have
to be adhered to, but without a communication or knowledge of those deadlines, it is unfair and
prejudicial to accuse someone of not following them.
I dissect this to show the pattern and practice at Manatt as it exists today, August 14, 2016:
"In 2014 Blackman continued to struggle to keep up with the demands of his desk."
My response: Prejudicial. Vague and lacking in specificity as to the word "struggle" and the word
"demands" and "continued". The IRM records and numerous emails responded to show that I was
keeping up with the demands of the desk.
"Blackman has not shown the ability to sort, file, and make new volumes in a timely manner for the large amount of documents that he received from one of his secretaries."
Prejudicial. Vague and lacking in specificity as to the word "timely" and the word "manner". The IRM
records and numerous emails responded to show that I have shown the ability to sort, file, and make
new volumes in a timely manner for one of the secretaries, namely Snyder. The IRM show that other
than the seven boxes Roberts alludes to in February 2014, he neglects to mention the large amount of
processed files for the same secretary that I performed the rest of 2014 as proven by the IRM records.
"In February I had a discussion with Blackman about 7 boxes of filing that he had not sorted."
In truth the discussion was initiated by me. It was not a complaint against the secretary or attorney, just
a report to the Manager Roberts as to how much work I was receiving to process. I had not sorted the
filing because I had just picked it up from the secretary, I recall maybe 3 or four boxes worth at two
different times. It was the secretary’s choice to put them into boxes for easier transfer to Records. As
with all filing, they were in the process of being sorted and folders created for shelving. Notice that
Roberts does not say there was a specific deadline communicated to me. Often I must work without direct supervision and I utilize the ability to prioritize as I receive work from various sources. I did not request help, but Roberts offered help and may have assigned clerk S. Sorita to assist me as time permitted. It should be noted here that Roberts admitted the filing was months sometimes years old and that he said it was "not a priority" since it was so old and since it was primarily copies of emails already on the system. That was the directive of Manatt’s Roberts. It is quite discriminatory as well as unprofessional to blame myself for something that when it was first alleged to have happened, you never brought it to my attention in an immediate and instructive manner. Having a meeting with me about a justifiable complaint I have made is not the same thing as providing training.
"Blackman stated that he was waiting for additional filing that was older than the filing that he currently has. Blackman further stated that if he sorted and put away the current filing he would have to take apart the files in order to integrate the older filing."
Again no indication from Roberts that there was a deadline. Yes, for certain cases that were identified,
my most knowledgeable information and discretion to prioritize indicated that the secretary had older
filing for a few cases by name, but the filing was not ready to transfer to me; it made sense to wait a
few days for the additional filing so I would not have to date sort repeatedly the same case. That I
would have to "take apart the files" as Roberts says, is a no brainer and routine procedure to which he
himself has to do the same thing in assisting me with "backdated" filing, yes seven boxes of backdated
filing. I note here that secretaries pretty often forward filing that can be backdated weeks, months, or
years. Filing is not necessarily received by clerks on the same date it is generated by the secretary. That
is the nature of the filing at Manatt.
"I gave Blackman a couple of suggestions on how to proceed without having to take apart the files. I then sorted four of the boxes for Blackman and showed him how to put the filing in a red well (half full) which would make it easier for him to integrate additional filing later. I also advised Blackman that after integrating the older filing he needs to put the filing in manila folders and change the volume number to reflect the changes."
Self serving and not true as to what transpired. Lying would be the word to describe Roberts. It is
Roberts who labeled the redwells as correspondence and in IRM and other clerks were witness to this
including the favored R. Lawson who was directed to destroy the evidence.
"Even after assigning one of the clerks to assist Blackman with his filing, he still can't get caught up (to reach a state of parody or being able to cope). Later in the year I noticed that Blackman was not putting the correspondence in the manila folders and some of the filing in the red Wells were not in chronological order.""
Vague and lacking in specificity as to why was the clerk assigned to help me. Was he assigned to learn
from me or me from him, were we given a date to get the filing done and would two people have gotten
it done faster than one? What were the deadlines and what was priority? What was communicated to
the clerks about the deadline because Roberts says still not caught up, so was I not caught up in spite of
the help, because of the help, or because the deadline was only in his head, not given to the clerks?
What and when was there a conversation about state of parody or being able to cope? Roberts mentions
correspondence not in folders and some was not in chron order. There is no indication Roberts brought
it to my attention in an immediate and instructive manner; most likely this is a fabrication on Roberts’
[I am going to note here I just remembered that I already thoroughly discussed these issues in the Feb
19 2015 email to the entire Firm subject : "BC FYI re Request for Apology, such email copy turned
over to the EEOC]
Roberts said in the January 27 2015 email to Snyder, proving the discrimination and retaliation at
"I made the change because for the past two years Blackman has been overwhelmed with the amount of filing that he receives from you. Currently a lot of your filing sits in boxes in the Records Center for months before Blackman has time to sort, make new volumes and put the files away" "Rena will be a much better fit as she is adept at sorting large amounts of documents and putting them away in a timely manner."
The handling of the redwells and correspondence for Snyder figured prominently in my review for
2014 and a Manatt issued mid-year evaluation of July 1 2015 where they still stubbornly clung to the
lie and myth that I had mistakenly put correspondence into Red wells. They said , "you are now
following department procedures." That evaluation comes from the initial lie so as such I disagree that
I am doing better in Manatt’s eyes because I was not making the mistakes that they claim in the first
place. . If I did not make mistakes in the first place, then there was nothing to improve upon. Manatt
and the EEOC is focused on the myth, not the truth. If Manatt has so many incompetent people
working for them, how do they stay in business? Roberts’ words are vague and lacking in specificity as
to why Manatt does not have training for me as a Black male over 55 to make me adept at sorting large
amounts of documents and putting them away in a timely manner? How many meetings at Manatt and
how many emails do I have to write to get the training? Where is the training at, Manatt? Why does
Manatt not have training that will help me perform like Rena? The truth is I probably process as much
paperwork as Rena or more depending on what day it is. Rena has more litigation, I have more
corporate paperwork. But I did not make the comparison, Manatt did. Then let Manatt pull out the IRM
statistics and email responses and secretary requests and let them compare those FACTS to the
discriminatory subjective evaluation that Manatt would have the prejudiced EEOC believe.
The fact is Roberts directed the correspondence and folders to be created and put in redwells
and they were put there permanently, not a temporarily solution. S. Sorita was a witness to the redwells
that Roberts directed as well as clerks J. Guitierrez and R. Lawson. All these clerks saw the labelled
redwells that Roberts created with his name on them on the shelf with the correspondence. R. Lawson
is also a witness that she was directed to destroy most of the redwells as evidence, and she was
witnessed to conduct the laborious weeks long process of pulling back all the redwells from Storage
that Roberts directed, deleting them from IRM, and recreating them as folders. She was also directed to
destroy all folders I created and re-create them. If Manatt is not prejudiced towards me, they could
have directed me to perform the same tasks as R. Lawson to redo the redwells. In addition, there are
still correspondence named redwells on the shelf in Records and created by C. Diggs and F. Mendoza,
clerks that did not suffer the same punishment as myself. Funny that Lawson has not been directed to
destroy and redo the redwells created by C. Diggs and F. Mendoza.
Summary of other documents prior to the Feb 24 2015 retaliation memos:
April 11 2014. Email from employee J. Strull praises me to Julian saying in pertinent part: "...thank
Blackman for the recent diligent work in boxing, moving and organizing files" "Blackman was most helpful in
getting everything out of the office in time for the movers to do their work" "Thanks to his good
work...we will be able to meet both of your deadlines."
August 11 2014. Email to entire firm: "Subject Re: Help Bring Manatt’s Values to Life---A Message to the Entire Firm".
[It is just amazing how many employees thanked me for writing that email. Wow! Others were not so
kind because they feared I would be fired by Manatt in retaliation. Why did I write it? I figured as part
of the expected teamwork and communications, maybe I should reach out for the answers from other
employees. But in the scope of things, it would not be the first time a worker was fired for invoking civil
rights laws in the pursuit of clarification of job duties. Can the EEOC say "racism"?] [continued below]
[continued from above]
January 27, 2015. Email from Roberts to Snyder: "Re: New File Clerk".
February 10 2015. Email to various officials.. Subject: "Apology requested re Handling of Secretary
Snyder case files."
February 12, 2015. Email subject "Request for Authorization". Roberts says correspondence can be put into Redwell as long as it is not called "Correspondence". Smart ass. This is not communicated to all Records clerks nor does Roberts take the opportunity to admit that he is the one who put the correspondence into redwells; nor was any other clerk told to put correspondence into Redwells temporarily. [Putting correspondence into redwells and labelling them and putting them on the shelf to convert them later into manila folders has been determined to be double work.]
February 16, 2015. Received 2014 Performance Evaluation of Blackman Johnson.
February 19, 2015. Email to firm from me. Subject "BC FYI Request for Apology." California
government code section 12940 is quoted. An apology has been requested but not received as requested. [this was a copy of the Feb 10 email that no one responded to.]
February 19, 2015. Email to Holly Brown with copy of Feb 16 EEOC cover and questionnaire.
February 19, 2015. Email to Linda Fischer and others subject: "Question regarding hostile work
environment". Also sent to all Records clerks.
February 24 2015. Email from Holly to me that she would like to discuss "some of your recent emails
February 24 2015. Memos to me from Holly and Janet re "Performance Feedback" and "Inappropriate
Use of Firm Equipment and Email". There is no conversation whatsoever.
February 24 2015. Email rebuttal to Holly and Janet. No response received.
February 24 2015. Email subject "Filing Update". Sent to Roberts, Fischer, Brown, and Gallagher. No
July 1 2015. Memo from Roberts. Mid year evaluation. It does not contain the apology I requested.
January 25 2016. Letter from EEOC Jacqueline Escobar closing investigation.
January 27 2016. Letter to EEOC and Manatt. My response to EEOC dismissal. 7 pages. The EEOC
had refused me rebuttal opportunity.
January 28 2016. Right to Sue letter. Enclosed. Issued by DFEH against Janet Gallagher, Holly Brown,
Linda Fischer, Julian Roberts
February 4 2016. Fax to EEOC. Request for 30 days to make rebuttal. Request ignored.
February 22, 2016. Letter from EEOC Rosa M/ Viramontes.
March 3 2016. Right to Sue federal court against Manatt.
Note: Manatt’s "email communications guidelines" and "computer and telecommunications resources" policies have been applied in a discriminatory manner. The first policy is two pages long, the second is seven pages long.
Note: there are some deadlines associated with the job of a records clerk. File creations should be
turned around within 24 hours or ASAP; file delivery requests should be attended to within 30 minutes
or ASAP; phone requests should be responded to right away. Most of the other times the clerk is
expected to use their discretion in establishing the priority for completion of tasks. I have never heard a
deadline communicated to all clerks as to when loose filing should be completed,
Manatt’s communicated values are integrity, accountability, inspire trust by speaking and acting openly,
honestly, and directly. These documents herein show that named Manatt employees [myself not
included] are not able to fulfill Manatt’s values.
Part III: THE MANATT MEMOS February 24 2015
Duty to act in good faith
Duty to act in a reasonable manner
Subjective evaluations are discriminatory by their very nature.
The first memo states "inappropriate use of firm equipment and email". The memo is vague and
lacking in specificity as to which part of my Feb. 19 2015 email violates which part of the company
email policy. The memo claims to summarize the Feb. 24 conversation, however there was no
conversation, only I was told to take the email with me and sign and return. THERE WAS NO
CONVERSATION. The memo claims, "this is the second time" but doesn’t specify the date or
circumstances of the first email that the firm is talking about. The memo claims, "the majority of the
individuals to whom you directed this email are not involved in your employment relationship with the
firm or your performance for the firm." I disagree with that to the extent that I frequently receive
emails from almost every department in the firm; I also attend Manatt classes where I am expected to
work with employees from other departments. I also frequently received emails directed at LA-Firm
but do not seem for me but I have to open and read them anyway. I also get emails from other Manatt
offices. I even got an email recently where someone in Manatt invited me to send pictures to post on
The memo claims I made "disparaging remarks" about my supervisor or management and copied to
uninvolved employees; I disagree with that in that I did not intend disparaging remarks, just sought
answers to concerns which management refused to respond to; I disagree that any employees copied
are not involved with my work at Manatt being that I interface with numerous departments as part of
my job duties. I can show you the emails. The issue of training for scanning documents and indexing of
pleadings have been brought to Human Resources attention repeatedly but no training has ever
occurred. How many times does a Black employee have to ask for training at Manatt?
The memo states that my emails caused "disruption in the workplace"; this is vague and lacking in
specificity as to which employee or attorney watching Youtube on their computer felt that my work
related email caused them a disruption in their work.
The second memo is "Performance Feedback." The memo is not from my supervisor Roberts nor it is
from manager Linda Fischer. Apparently they are out of the loop. The memo claims to respond to my
February 19 2015 email. The memo claims "resistance" from me and "failure to follow procedure" but
is vague and lacking in specificity as to dates and circumstances of such resistance and failure to follow
procedure and what if any matters were brought to my attention in an immediate and instructive
manner. I have never refused to follow any procedure communicated to me; I have never refused an
instruction. But it is to Manatt’s benefit to fabricate that for its own purposes. Manatt in this memo
paints its broad brush of retaliation. The memo says, "you continue to refuse to accept any personal
responsibility for these failures so that you will improve in these areas, and you plan to continue to
reject any guidance from you supervisor." Intractable, institutionalized, racism. Manatt’s position is vague and lacking specificity as to dates and circumstances of such alleged resistance and failure to follow procedure and what if any matters were brought to my attention in an immediate and instructive manner. The memo states, "this was a direct result of your continuous complaints about this share, plus your failure to keep the filing current"; I object to that statement as retaliatory and vague and lacking in specificity as to be unintelligible; what continuous complaints did I make about the share to who? On what dates was the filing not "current" and what is Manatt’s definition of "current" and when was that communicated to all Records clerks? IRM will show the dates that filing was updated. Does Manatt know how to comprehend the IRM software? On what dates was I told the filing was not "current", what non-discriminatory assistance or training was I given and what was the result on those dates you provided? The memo states, "It was quickly observed that once this share was given to another records employee, the work was completed quickly and has been kept up to date."
institutionalized, racism. Prejudicial. First, when the share was changed, all of Snyder’s filing was caught up except one case, and I was denied the opportunity to update that case. I object to the word "quickly" because it is vague and lacking in specificity and also implies that as a senior citizen over age 55 I am to be subjected to a different standard due to my age; I object to the phase "kept up to date" as prejudicial and vague and lacking in specificity.
Part III: THE EEOC RESPONSE letter
Sorry I have responded so late on these issues, but you know positive things should be the
priority. Taking time out of my life for bullshit is often times a waste, and that is the way I look at
discrimination, as a big bullshit waste of time.
And Manatt had the nerve to get an award for Diversity. Discrimination. Diversity. Manatt is
not able to have the conversation. I have never seen racial sensitivity training at Manatt.
I have reviewed the letters of the EEOC of January 25, 2016 ad February 22, 2016, evidence
that the EEOC refused me a copy of Manatt’s response so that I could avail myself of constitutional
administrative due process to make a rebuttal.
The EEOC letters arise from the same Ku Klux Klan cloth as Manatt’s positions stated herein, so my response to the EEOC is the same as to the Manatt Feb 24 2015 letters above. I note here that your letter claims that I was counseled on February 19 2015 for inappropriate use of company equipment but I am not aware of any counseling that took place on that date regarding company equipment. As the EEOC may have access to human beings that can comprehend English, the company documents provided to you prove that at no time did I violate any company procedures, nor at any time was my work product below standards. I also note the contradiction in your Feb 22 letter in that you state that all acts alleged prior to June 2014 are untimely but then in the next sentence you contradict yourself and quoted the 2013 performance evaluation.
I support all federal funding to the EEOC being revoked and suspended on the grounds the sole purpose of the EEOC is to promote and foster Ku Klux Klan like employment discrimination across America.
Manatt’s Feb. 24 2015 email says that my Feb. 19 2015 email violated company policy. The
EEOC supports this position. However, since the Feb 19 2015 email clearly is in compliance with
Manatt policy to "engage in regular, concerted efforts to talk up the values, educate people about them
and what they mean, and provide opportunities for group discussion and sharing", and in compliance
with Manatt policy "… the Firm prohibits discrimination and/or retaliation for cooperating with
officials in investigating claimed violations of the law, cooperating or participating in any investigation,
administrative hearing or judicial action regarding an alleged violation, opposing any policy or practice
that is prohibited by the law, or informing any person of his or her potential rights under law"; the only
person who should face discipline here is Manatt officials. The February 19, 2015 email by me is
"protected activity". Surely the EEOC needs training on the meaning of protected activity.
[employee name has been redacted]
[Editor: Named in EEOC/DFEH complaints are Janet Gallagher, Holly Brown, Linda Fischer, Julian Roberts, and others. On January 18, 2017, the Black worker was terminated from employment by Manatt about five months after his continuing discrimination complaints.]
[This letter has been provided by the Society for the Preservation of the African American Male. The employee's name has been replaced with the name "Blackman". This document is part of a request under the United States of America Freedom of Information Act.]
January 28 2016
BEFORE THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
DEPARTMENT OF FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING
Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act
(Gov. Code, § 12900 et seq.)
In the Matter of the Complaint of
[Blackman name redacted] , Complainant.
Janet Gallagher Manatt Phelps Phillips,
11355 OLYMPIC BLVD
LOS ANGELES, California 90064
DFEH No. 37638-206526
1. Respondent Manatt Phelps Phillips is a Private Employer subject to suit under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (Gov. Code, § 12900 et seq.). Complainant believes respondent is subject to the FEHA.
2. On or around January 22, 2016 , complainant alleges that respondent took the following adverse actions against complainant: Retaliation, Denied a good faith interactive process, Denied a work environment free of discrimination and/or retaliation, Denied promotion, Other, Denied training. Did otherwise discriminate. Classification for purposes of denying me the privileges and benefits of employment.
Complainant believes respondent committed these actions because of their: Age - 40 and over, Engagement in Protected Activity.
3. Complainant [Blackman name redacted] resides in the City of LOS ANGELES , State of California . If complaint includes co-respondents please see below.
11355 OLYMPIC BLVD
LOS ANGELES California 90064
11355 OLYMPIC BLVD
LOS ANGELES California 90064
11355 OLYMPIC BLVD
LOS ANGELES California 90064
Additional Complaint Details:
The employer Manatt was advised Feb 19 2015 that I had filed a EEOC pre complaint inquiry on Feb 14 2015.On February 24, 2015, the employer gave me two letters of discipline which I believe were in retaliation for me contacting the EEOC February 14 2015. An EEOC charge 480-2015-01259 was filed April 14, 2015.
1. The midyear review dated July 1 2015 was retaliatory because it was based on a previous subjective evaluation discrimination employee review of myself.
2. The fact Manatt has not withdrawn from my personnel file the Feb. 24 2015 letters of discipline is retaliatory. I had written two emails to fellow employees advising them of their rights under federal and state civil rights laws, Manatt claimed the emails were against company policy an an abuse of company equipment. Numerous employees I spoke with were incensed by Manatts retaliatory practice to discipline me.
3. The written/otherwise response of Manatt circa January 22, 2016 to the EEOC charge is retaliatory as many sections of their response are false and inaccurate and self serving, based on what was told to me by the EEOC. I have not seen the actual Manatt response so all rights are reserved. I believe I was retaliated against and classified as being unqualified for purposes of denying me employment benefits due to my age over 45, sex male, and because I complained of acts made unlawful by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. I believe the acts of the respondents herein are the proximate cause of the injuries I have suffered. All rights reserved.
[Editor: This has been redacted from the original complaint and is the subject of a federal public records act request.]
February 19 2015
Subject: BC FYI re Request for Apology
From: [Blackman employee name redacted]
Date: Thursday, February 19, 2015 5:09 PM
FYI as “BC”:
Forwarded based on the firm’s “engagement factor” and “writing advantage” directives. The Writing Advantage “Style Guide” is 437 pages, estimated work reading time over 15 hours.
“The Firm should engage in regular, concerted efforts to ‘talk up’ the values, educate people about them and what they mean, and provide opportunities for group discussion and sharing.” William Quicksilver.
You are receiving this as an FYI via email BCC: You may wish to think of it as a workplace “engagement factor” and “writer advantage” exercise. Names of some employees have been redacted. [*Bold subject headings italics and other formatting does not appear in the original.] [Subjective performance evaluations. http://richardstep.com/careers/subjective-performance-evaluationprocess/
[Brian Williams said he used to work at Manatt.]
The email below [redacted] was delivered February 10, 2015, at 12:10 p.m. to Records Manager Julian Roberts with cc: Linda Fischer, Holly Brown
Subject: Apology Requested re Handling of Secretary [name redacted] Case Files
Request for Written Apology
Over the past seven years, I file different documents into folders and red wells.
"Correspondence/Emails" are filed into manila folders/green folders, not red wells. I recognize there have been exceptions but that is my general understanding and practice, and I don't think this is a difficult thing to understand even if you have a master's degree or don't. Certainly Manager Julian should be able to understand it as Manager. So over the last seven years, if you check my work, 99% of the correspondence has been filed in manila folders/green folders. I will elaborate later, but there are exceptions. If an email or letter is too thick to be put in a folder, it would have to be put in a red well. This happens occasionally and I have seen other clerks handle it the same way: put the large document correspondence into a red well. The other exception is if a clerk is specifically told by the Manager to put the"correspondence/emails" into a red well instead of a manilla folder.
If I put emails into a red well at the direction of Julian, which I did, that only occurred in those few cases, perhaps ten to fifteen, whereas the majority of the other secretary cases emails/correspondence ---over seven years --- were filed into manila folders. My 2014 evaluation shows that this is really hard for you yourself [Records Manager] to understand, and I just wonder why this is so hard to understand?
* “ You said you accept 'full responsibility' “
As discussed at evaluation for 2014 (sic), you said that you accept full responsibility for telling me to create and file the [secretary name redacted] cases' correspondence/emails into red wells onto the shelf.
The background here is that I had been receiving at one drop large amounts of backdated filing from the secretary for a while, as far back as 2010. "Backdated" or "backlogged" is defined as filing that instead of being dated a few days after receipt, that it was forwarded to me in records with dates on the documents of six months or more prior to the current date of receipt. Much of the filing I received was one to two years old, as dated, and in large amounts like one to two boxes worth at a time. Even though it appears I may have been singled out for unfair treatment as regards my handling of backdated filing, in truth, other clerks also receive backdated filing, sometimes filing that is over five years old. In 2013, yourself Julian reviewed the practice of the secretary forwarding me backdated filing which was occurring on a regular basis. You assisted and prepared red welds for correspondence [mostly emails in the cases] that would normally be put in manila folders. Your reasoning expressed to me was that preparing the red welds was a more efficient process than the folders and that red welds would make it easier to access the documents, many of which you admitted were copies of emails that were already on the secretary computer.
* “ You prepared the labels in IRM”
You prepared the labels in IRM and a number of cases were shelved where the correspondence was in red welds. I followed this procedure for some of the [secretary] cases. You assured me this practice was authorized. I understood that it was an "exception" to the rule and that I was only to use the red welds for correspondence in the case of filing that was backdated or that appeared that I would receive more backdated filing. For most of the cases, such procedure would not have to be used.
Many records clerks, if not all, would have been witness to the red welds being on the shelf. I have direct knowledge that [four clerks' names redacted] were witness to the red welds that bore your name as the creator. I understand that clerk [name redacted] was recently assigned to recycle the red welds [that were created] and remove all correspondence/emails and put them in manila folders [a considerable waste of company time in my opinion].
* “ No objections were expressed to me”
I was told by [two clerks names redacted] that I had improperly put correspondence documents into red welds; I understand that putting the documents into red welds was one of the reasons I was transferred off of the secretary's desk.
Prior to this, around June 2014 to October 2014, this issue was visited in meetings with yourself, Linda, Holly, and me, with no objections expressed to me.
In the Feb 6, 2015, evaluation meeting with you, you said that the red welds were meant to be "temporary" but you admitted that you had never told me the red welds were meant to be "temporary" nor had you given me opportunity to correct the so called "temporary" red welds. There is no indication in the computer that the red welds that yourself created were designated as "temporary". In most of the secretary cases, I had placed the correspondence into manila folders, as with all my other assigned secretaries; the exception would be if a document/email was too large to fit into a manila folder. So the red welds represented only a small fraction of the many cases I was assigned to maintain. I was never given the opportunity to redo the so called “temporary” red wells that were on the shelf, nor was I offered overtime to redo the so called “temporary” red wells.
I would like a written apology with a stated explanation that (1) I correctly followed company procedure as you directed me to use red welds for correspondence and (2) that your decision that the red welds were meant to be "temporary" was never communicated to me.
Please send the email apology to the Records-LA as well as cc: Edith Gould and William Quicksilver.
[Blackman employee name redacted]
"Performance issues should be brought to the employee's attention in an immediate and instructive manner." (sic)
California government code section 12940. "It is an unlawful employment practice, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification, or, except where based upon applicable security regulations established by the United States or the State of California: (a) For an employer, because of the race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status of any person, to refuse to hire or employ the person or to refuse to select the person for a training program leading to employment, or to bar or to discharge the person from employment or from a training program leading to employment, or to discriminate against the person in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment." [emphasis added]
[Editor: this email was sent Manatt firm wide and has been redacted from the original. It was sent as a BCC. This was one of the emails that Manatt claims it used as grounds to discipline the Blackman up to and including the actual termination of employment, the Blackman claims, as "retaliation"]
June 29, 2010
From: [Blackman employee name redacted]
Date: Tuesday, June 29,2010 3:40 PM
To: Andred, Anthony [Supervisor Records]
Re: Filing Progress
Thanks for the opportunity yesterday morning to update you on my workload status.
FOR STORAGE: GORDON BAVA WORKING FILES from JS.
These were files taken from war room 634 and created by JM. Out of over 30 boxes worth of file creations, I have about five boxes left. I will try to complete them by Friday.
There is also two boxes worth loose filing from 1998 forward just given to me within the past couple of weeks from the War room. This will take time to determine where the folders are to place the documents.
FOR STORAGE: TJ GRASMICK FILES FROM JS
The attorney appears be cleaning files out his office. I have already processed about 5 boxes worth of files to send to storage, and I have five more I received yesterday to process for storage. Many are already in the system. I anticipate this is an ongoing project.
LOOSE FILING TO FILE
I have about three boxes worth of current loose filing for assorted attorneys to put away. Most has been marked as to location.
CASES TO RELABEL
I have 26230 to relabel: …… ,39 pages worth of files to relabel name change. I have done some but need to finish. I have 26964 to relabel : ……104 PAGES worth of files to relabel name change. I have done some.
The following secretaries are giving me manageable amounts of filing. By manageable I mean it can be put away in one or two days if other secretary/ attorney file delivery requests do not arise and take priority: Alicia Valle, ….Lois Tione, RL. Filing from others JS has increased, filing from CC has remained constant. JF and PS tend to hold their loose filing and give it to me stacks/boxes at a time, sometimes old filing (PS) ; this of course makes it more time consuming to file and create new folders or interfile among volumes.
For me, filing is up from what is was 6 months ago. Creations may be down but new cases seem to be up.
Linda Fischer stopped the practice of creating empty case files and this I am sure will free up a lot of time for putting loose filing away and other projects.
As for other clerks around me, from my very limited view, and just walking by other's desk while performing my duties , some clerks seem to be busier and some seem to be not so busy. Of course I know some clerks do a lot of the filing on the floor without bringing it back to Records. Everyone’s desk is different; one clerk may get a lot of boxes, another a lot of loose filing or another a lot of Pleadings.
Generally I spend the mornings collecting new documents, and coding/separating those documents by location. Most or the loose filing at my desk has been coded and is ready to be put away.
The afternoon I spend working on putting loose docs away, new folder creation, and things like files for storage. I am pretty flexible during the day and I try to pay the most attention to cases I perceive to be the most active/current.
Any specific time management ideas you have are appreciated.
[Blackman Employee name redacted]
Manatt Phelps Phillips
“Filing is Fundamental”
[Editor: This email has been redacted from the original email. Some full names have been changed to initials. This is based on documents released to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing or the EEOC and the subject of federal public records act request. According to Manatt, this over nine year employee was incompetent and not capable of being trained and perceived to have suffered from a mental illness or disability. Does this email above sound like a person who has a mental illness?]
January 27 2017 Update
The federal EEOC has been asked to audit the hiring and employee termination practices of Manatt for failure to comply with the OWBPA.
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