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Showing posts from October, 2010

Texas man who was part of father & son team of pirated software sellers sentenced to 18 months in prison

WASHINGTON - A man from Wichita Falls, Texas, was sentenced on Friday to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $599,771 in restitution for selling pirated computer software through the Internet. The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Todd Alan Cook, 24, pleaded guilty on March 11 to criminal copyright infringement in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. Cook was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence.

Appellate Court Upholds Order Requiring Promoters of Supreme Greens and Coral Calcium Dietary Supplements To Pay $48.2 Million for Deceptive Ads

Court Backs FTC, Cites "Complete Absence of Support" for Vast Majority of Health Claims

A federal appeals court in Boston has upheld a decision in favor of the Federal Trade Commission that orders marketers of dietary supplements to pay $48.2 million for deceiving the public with phony health claims for their “Supreme Greens” and “Coral Calcium” dietary supplements. Infomercial pitchman Donald W. Barrett and his associates had touted the supplements as a cure for ailments ranging from cancer and Parkinson’s disease to heart disease and autoimmune diseases. Barrett, co-defendant Robert Maihos, and their two companies had appealed a lower court decision in favor of the FTC, which charged the defendants with deceptive advertising.

“Despite the volume of the Defendants’ arguments, we find no more substance in them than the district court found in their infomercials,” wrote U.S. Court of Appeals First Circuit Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson. The appellate court rejected all the mar…

Independent Inventors Conference Kicks Off Nov. 4 at USPTO Headquarters

Post-It® Notes co-inventor Art Fry to give keynote speech

Washington, D.C. – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold its annual Independent Inventors Conference on Nov. 4 and 5 at its headquarters in Alexandria, Va. Co-sponsored by the USPTO and the National Inventors Hall of Fame®, the conference is one of many outreach programs offered by the USPTO to assist independent inventors.

USPTO Director David Kappos and Art Fry, co-inventor of Post-It® Notes and a 2010 National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee, will be the featured keynote speakers at this year’s conference. Fry will speak at Thursday’s conference luncheon, and Kappos will speak at Friday’s luncheon.

Maryland Contractors and Their President to Pay United States for Falsely Obtaining Hubzone and SBA 8(a) Contracts

WASHINGTON – Platinum One Contracting, located in Capitol Heights, Md., its president, Anthony Wright, and Capitol Contractors, also located in Capitol Heights, and its president, Vernon J. Smith III, have agreed to pay the United States $200,000 to settle claims that they used false statements to obtain contracts from the Department of Defense, the Justice Department announced today. The contracts had been set aside for companies that qualified for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) business development program, as well as for businesses that qualified for the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program.

Under the SBA’s 8(a) business development program, a business owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals can apply for certification from the SBA as an 8(a) business. A business certified as an 8(a) contractor can obtain certain preferences during the contracting process, and can bid on contracts that the agency has set asid…

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE STATEMENT ON THE SENTENCING OF MARC BERNSTEIN

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today issued a statement on the sentencing of MARC BERNSTEIN, a lawyer who stole more than $3.1 million from 28 of his clients and failed to pay income taxes, to 2 ½ – 7 ½ years in state prison. In April 2010, BERNSTEIN pled guilty to all of the charges against him: 16 counts of Grand Larceny in the Second and Third Degrees, two counts of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, one count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, and two counts Repeated Failure to File Income Tax Returns. As of this sentencing, the defendant has failed to repay any of the more than $3.5 million that the Court ordered as restitution to the victims.

District Attorney Vance said: “The defendant is a predator with a law degree. He deliberately failed to pay his federal and state taxes, and then showed his contCoempt for his victims and the Court by failing to pay any of the more than $3.5 million in restitution ordered by the Court. Rathe…

Rebecca S. Parrett has been arrested in Mexico

Fugitive Ohio Executive Previously Convicted for Role in $2.8 Billion Fraud Arrested in Mexico

WASHINGTON – Former National Century Financial Enterprises (NCFE) executive Rebecca S. Parrett, 62, has been arrested in Mexico, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart for the Southern District of Ohio and U.S. Marshal Cathy Jones for the Southern District of Ohio. Parrett fled in March 2008 after a federal jury convicted her on charges stemming from her role in a $2.8 billion fraud that led to NCFE’s collapse.

Mexican authorities arrested Parrett in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico, based on information provided to them by the U.S. Marshals Service in Columbus, Ohio. Parrett was immediately deported according to Mexican immigration laws. Mexican authorities escorted Parrett to Los Angeles where deputy U.S. Marshals arrested her on the warrant issued after her conviction. Parrett will appear before a federal judge in U.S. Distri…

Kraft Foods / Maxwell House Sued By EEOC For Sex Discrimination

Company Inequitably Disciplined, Then Fired Female Employee at Coffee Plant Because of Gender, Federal Agency Charges

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Maxwell House Coffee Division of Kraft Foods Global, Inc., violated federal law when it subjected a female employee at its Jacksonville, Fla., coffee plant to discriminatory terms and conditions and discipline and terminated her on the basis of her sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

The EEOC’s suit, Case No. 3:10-cv-00887-UATC-JBT, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, said that Francena Smith was disciplined more harshly that her male co-workers when they were involved in incidents where coffee was damaged, and was then fired because of her gender.

Practice Experience Tops Wish List When Recruiting for Paralegal Roles, Robert Half Legal Survey Reveals

MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to hiring for paralegal positions, knowledge of a specific practice area is the most desirable attribute, according to 66 percent of lawyers interviewed recently by staffing firm Robert Half Legal. Technological proficiency ranked second with 13 percent of the survey response.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing firm specializing in lawyers, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 200 lawyers at the largest law firms and corporations in the United States.

GlaxoSmithKline to Plead Guilty & Pay $750 Million to Resolve Criminal and Civil Liability Regarding Manufacturing Deficiencies at Puerto Rico Plant

BOSTON – SB Pharmco Puerto Rico Inc., a subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline, PLC (GSK), has agreed to plead guilty to charges relating to the manufacture and distribution of certain adulterated drugs made at GSK’s now-closed Cidra, Puerto Rico, manufacturing facility, the Justice Department announced today. The resolution includes a criminal fine and forfeiture totaling $150 million and a civil settlement under the False Claims Act and related state claims for $600 million.

The drugs, manufactured at the plant between 2001and 2005, are Kytril, Bactroban, Paxil CR and Avandamet. Kytril is a sterile anti-nausea medication. Bactroban is a topical anti-infection ointment commonly used to treat skin infections. Paxil CR is the controlled release formulation of the popular anti-depressant drug, Paxil, and Avandamet is a combination Type II diabetes drug.

FTC Mails Redress Checks Totaling $1.2 Million to Debt Reduction Scam Victims

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing almost 7,000 refund checks to victims of a nationwide operation that falsely claimed it would reduce consumers’ debt, leading many people into financial ruin and bankruptcy (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/09/nss.shtm). Consumers paid the defendants an up-front fee of about 5 percent of their unsecured debt. The redress fund represents the available assets of the defendants, which include Homeland Financial Services, Prosper Financial Solutions, Dennis Connelly, and Richard Wade Torkelson.

The amount of each check will vary based on the amount of each person’s payments to the defendants. Consumers who receive checks should cash them on or before December 24, 2010. Checks are being mailed by the redress claims administrator, Gilardi & Co. Consumers with questions should visit www.ftc.gov/refunds or call the administrator at 1-877-987-3923. The total amount of money available for redress is about $1.2 million; the average amount of redress per con…

Hawaii Resident Charged with Making False Statements in a Matter Involving International Terrorism

A criminal complaint was unsealed yesterday in the Eastern District of New York charging Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, age 21 and a U.S. citizen and resident of Hawaii, with making false statements in a matter involving international terrorism. Shehadeh was arrested on Friday, October 22, in Honolulu, Hawaii. At his initial appearance yesterday at the United States Courthouse in Honolulu, Shehadeh was ordered detained and consented to being removed to the Eastern District of New York for further proceedings.

The charges and arrest were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii; Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office; Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department; and Charlene B. Thornton, Special Agent-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Honolulu Division.

Rasmussen v. Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center

Rasmussen v. Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center

Case Number: 2:2006cv05759
Filed: October 25, 2006

Court: New York Eastern District Court
Office: Central Islip Office [ Court Info ]
Presiding Judge: Senior-Judge Leonard D. Wexler
Referring Judge: Magistrate-Judge William D. Wall

Nature of Suit: Labor - Fair Labor Standards Act
Cause: 29:201 Fair Labor Standards Act
Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff

Allied Interstate, Inc., Will Pay $1.75 Million to Settle FTC Charges

Ignored Consumers’ Disputes Without Checking Its Information for Accuracy

To resolve Federal Trade Commission charges, one of the nation’s largest debt collectors will pay $1.75 million for allegedly making repeated telephone calls to collect from the wrong person, to collect the wrong amount, or both. The settlement is the second largest civil penalty obtained by the FTC in a debt collection case.

“Debt collectors had better make sure their information is accurate, or they could end up paying a big penalty,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “There is no excuse for trying to collect debt from someone if you can’t confirm that they actually owe it.”

Central Valley Auto Repair Company Sued By EEOC For Discrimination, Sexual Harassment And Retaliation

Oakdale Shop Manager Derided Women and Mexicans, Federal Agency Charges

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A San Joaquin/Stanislaus County, Calif., auto repair company violated federal law when it allowed its Oakdale shop manager to harass an employee due to her Mexican national origin and her gender and then fired her for reporting the discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Rena Flores, age 26 and of Mexican ancestry, worked as a secretary at Oakdale Collision Center . The EEOC’s investigation found that the store manager there publicly disparaged Mexicans, calling them “smelly,” “greasy” and “wetbacks.” He also regularly made sexist and sexually inappropriate comments, claiming that “women should clean the bathrooms, not men,” and that “women belonged barefoot and pregnant.” In addition, the manager asked Flores sexual questions and made sexually inappropriate comments, the EEOC said.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES 37 ARRESTS FOR THEFT OF PUBLIC BENEFITS

More Than $300,000 Stolen From City and State; Several Cases Involve Public Employees

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the arrests of 37 individuals on charges related to the theft of unemployment benefits from New York State and low-income housing subsidies from New York City.[1] The arrests follow investigations conducted in partnership with the New York State Department of Labor (“DOL”) and the New York City Department of Investigation (“DOI”). At least eight more arrests are expected this week, with the total cost to taxpayers estimated at $360,000.

“Our City and State are struggling to balance budgets while providing critical public services,” said District Attorney Vance. “Unemployment benefits and low-income housing subsidies are lifelines for those in need. These funds cannot be fraudulently siphoned away from the New Yorkers who rightfully qualify for assistance. I thank the Department of Investigation and the Department of Labor for their assi…

Debt Relief Companies Prohibited From Collecting Advance Fees Under FTC Rule That Takes Effect October 27, 2010

Starting October 27, consumers trying to settle their debts will be protected by a new rule that prohibits companies that sell debt relief services over the telephone from charging fees before settling or reducing a customer’s credit card or other unsecured debt. The ban on advance fees reflects changes that the Federal Trade Commission made to its Telemarketing Sales Rule last July.

“The rule change that goes into effect next week is a major victory for consumers struggling to control and manage their debt without inadvertently digging themselves in deeper,” Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. “Starting on October 27, debt relief telemarketers are on notice – if you charge consumers before actually helping them, you will find the FTC and state enforcers knocking at your door to enforce the Rule. We look forward to working with our state partners to ensure that the Rule is enforced across the country.”

Mcdonald's USA To Pay $50,000 To Settle EEOC Sex Harassment Suit

Teenaged Male Employee Hugged, Touched and Spanked by Supervisor, Federal Lawsuit Alleged

NEW YORK – McDonald’s will pay $50,000 to settle a sex discrimination suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC charged that McDonald’s USA, LLC unlawfully subjected an employee to sexual harassment at one of its Perth Amboy, N.J., restaurants.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 2:09-Civ-05028 (WJM)(MF)), filed September 29, 2009 in U.S. District Court for District of New Jersey, an assistant store manager made lewd comments to a teenaged crew member and touched, spanked and hugged him in a way that made him very uncomfortable. The crew member was only 16-17 years of age when these incidences took place.

EEOC Public Meeting Explores the Use of Credit Histories as Employee Selection Criteria

Growing Practice Can Have Disparate Impact on African-Americans, Latinos; Are Not Predictive of Job Performance, Some Witnesses Say

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a public Commission meeting today to hear testimony from representatives of various stakeholder groups as well as social scientists and the Federal Trade Commission on the growing use of credit histories as selection criteria in employment.

“High unemployment has forced an increasing number of people to enter or re-enter the job market,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “As a result, an ever increasing number of job applicants and workers are being exposed to employment screening tools, such as credit checks, that could unfairly exclude them from job opportunities. Today’s discussion provided important input into our agency’s work to ensure that the workplace is made free of all barriers to equal opportunity.”

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF PUBLIC INTEGRITY UNIT

New Public Integrity Hotline Will Allow New Yorkers to Easily Report Wrongdoing

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the formation of the Public Integrity Unit. The new unit will proactively investigate public corruption in government at all levels, including not only bribery and malfeasance by public servants, but also election fraud and criminal violations of state and local ethics laws.

“Self-serving criminal activity among public employees at all levels severely undermines the public’s confidence in our government,” District Attorney Vance said. “The new Public Integrity Unit reaffirms this Office’s long tradition of rooting out corruption at all levels.”

Former President of the Park Avenue Bank Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to Fraud on the TARP, Securities Fraud, Self-Dealing, Bank Bribery, and Embezzlement of Bank Funds

Charles Antonucci is First Defendant Ever Convicted of Fraud Against The Troubled Asset Relief Program

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, NEIL M. BAROFSKY, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program ("SIGTARP"), RICHARD H. NEIMAN, the Superintendent of the Banks of New York ("NYSBD"), JAMES T. HAYES, JR., the Special Agent-in- Charge of the New York Office of Homeland Security Investigations ("HSI"), JANICE K. FEDARCYK, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), and JON T. RYMER, Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC-OIG"), announced today that CHARLES J. ANTONUCCI, SR., the former President and Chief Executive Officer of The Park Avenue Bank, pled guilty in Manhattan federal court to multiple criminal charges. The charges to which ANTONUCCI pled include securities fraud rel…

Federal Agency Alleged Better Family Life, Inc. Refused to Hire Pregnant Woman

ST. LOUIS – Better Family Life, Inc., a community development organization, will pay $35,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination suit filed last year by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

In its suit, the agency alleged that in January 2009 a company representative telephoned a former employee to offer her a job as an employment lead trainer. Before the call ended, the former employee told the representative that she was pregnant. According to the EEOC, the representative called back a few days later to rescind the job offer because of the former employee’s pregnancy.

Vegas Western Cab to Pay $30,000 for Rejecting a Disabled Applicant in EEOC Suit

Company Refused to Hire Single-Arm Amputee as a Taxi Driver and Failed to Keep Medical Records Confidential, Federal Agency Charged

LAS VEGAS – Vegas Western Cab Company, which provides taxi services in Nevada, will pay $30,000 to a disabled job applicant and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

In its lawsuit (EEOC v. Vegas Western Cab Company, Case No. 2:09-cv-01888-GMN-PAL), the EEOC asserted that the taxi cab company refused to hire Joel Walden, a single-arm amputee who applied for a taxi driver position in 2006, due to his disability. Walden was rejected although he met all of the requirements stated in the job announcement, had experience as a driver and an unblemished driving record, the EEOC said. The EEOC further charged that the company commingled the medical records of employees, such as doctor’s notes, with other personnel records, thus failing to mai…

Hevesi Admits Accepting Nearly $1 Million in Benefits in Exchange for Approving $250 Million in Pension Fund Investments

Hevesi Will Cooperate in Cuomo’s Ongoing Pension Fund Investigation

NEW YORK, NY (October 7, 2010) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a felony guilty plea by former Comptroller of the State of New York Alan Hevesi for his involvement in a pay-to-play kickback scheme at the Office of the New York State Comptroller.

Hevesi acknowledged receiving nearly $1 million in gifts in exchange for improperly favoring and approving a $250 million investment in Markstone Capital Partners, L.P. from the New York State Common Retirement Fund. The gifts consisted of $75,000 in travel expenses for Hevesi and his family, $380,000 in sham consulting fees for a lobbyist friend, and over $500,000 in campaign contributions as directed by Hevesi. Hevesi also acknowledged that while he served as Comptroller he was aware that Henry “Hank” Morris – his paid political adviser and campaign manager – was using the pension fund for a pay-to-play scheme in which Morris personally received fees fro…

Mike Enyart & Sons Will Pay $87,205 to Settle EEOC Race Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit

Construction Company Fired Black Employee Because He Complained About Racial Harassment, Federal Agency Charged

BECKLEY, W.V. – A South Point, Ohio-based construction company will pay $87,205 in lost wages and punitive damages and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a federal race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today. The EEOC had charged that Mike Enyart & Sons, Inc. discharged Mareo R. Allen in retaliation for his complaints about a racially hostile work environment.

The EEOC contended that a foreman and co-workers repeatedly used racially offensive epithets and slurs to Allen and other black persons when Allen worked for the company on a sewer line installation project in White Sulphur Springs, W.V. The harassment included physically threatening and intimidating actions, such as cutting Allen’s belt with a knife while Allen was wearing it and showing him a swastika that had been spray-painted o…

Secretary Napolitano announces record-breaking immigration enforcement statistics achieved under the Obama administration

WASHINGTON - Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton today announced record-breaking immigration enforcement statistics achieved under the Obama administration-including unprecedented numbers of convicted criminal alien removals and overall alien removals in fiscal year 2010.

Secretary Napolitano's announcements reflect this administration's continued focus on smart and effective immigration enforcement over the past 20 months-prioritizing the identification and removal of criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety.

Eighty-Nine Law Enforcement Officers and 44 Others Indicted for Drug Trafficking Crimes in Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON – Eighty-nine law enforcement officers and 44 others in Puerto Rico have been charged in 26 indictments unsealed today and returned by a grand jury in San Juan, Puerto Rico, during the month of September 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez of the District of Puerto Rico announced today.

The defendants face charges ranging from conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, attempt to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and use of a firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking offense. The offenses charged cover a period from in or about July 26, 2008 until Sept. 21, 2010.

Bardon, Inc. / Aggregate Industries to Pay $325,000 to Settle Sexual Harassment/Retaliation Suit

EEOC Said Female Technician Subjected to Sexual Comments and Requests, Lewd Acts and Groping, and Fired After Complaining to Management

BALTIMORE – Concrete company Bardon, Inc., trading as Aggregate Industries, Inc., will pay $325,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. Aggregate, an internationally owned ready-mix concrete company with operations in the United States and United Kingdom, has corporate offices in Greenbelt, Md.

In its suit, (Civil Action No. 8:08-cv-1883-RWT) filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the EEOC charged that Aggregate created and maintained a sexually hostile work environment for Ora L. Borrell -- the only female quality control technician employed at the company. The EEOC charged that the incidents of sexual harassment included repeated public urination in her presence, ov…

At FTC’s Request, Court Halts Nationwide Tax Relief Scam That Collected More Than $60 Million

Company’s Owners Lived Lavish Lifestyle, Targeted Financially Distressed Consumers

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal judge has halted a national operation that allegedly bilked consumers out of more than $60 million by falsely claiming it can reduce people’s tax debts – the company’s California state business license was suspended last year for not paying its own taxes, the FTC alleges. The FTC is seeking to make the defendants pay restitution to victims.

“We’ve made it a top priority to go after scammers who try to exploit the financial hardship of others,” said David C. Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “For people having a tough time paying their taxes, the last thing they need is to lose more money to a fraud.”

Companies operated by Thomas Guida charged families thousands of dollars to transport public school students throughout NYC, then abruptly shut down with little notice

NEW YORK, N.Y. (October 6, 2010) -- Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a lawsuit against several related Queens-based school bus companies that collected advance payments to provide transportation for public school students, then abruptly terminated service and failed to provide promised refunds. The actions left many families stranded without transportation services to get their children to and from school.

According to the Attorney General’s lawsuit, Thomas Guida and the various bus companies he operated (Bronx Science Bus Service, Inc., Bronx Science Express, Inc., Gagnon Bus Company, Inc. and Hunter Express Bus Service, Inc.) entered into contracts with hundreds of parents of public high school students to provide daily transportation to Bronx High School of Science, Hunter College High School and Lehman College High School of American Studies. Parents purchased such services so their children could avoid relying on lengthy daily commutes via public transportation. T…

La Quinta And Best Western Sued For Harassment

EEOC Says Manager Verbally Abused Female Employees for Reasons of Race, Sex, Pregnancy and Religion

SEATTLE — Hotel group Pacific Hospitality violated federal law when it permitted a general manager to harass a group of female employees working at La Quinta-Federal Way and Best Western Tacoma Dome, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.

The federal agency alleged the general manager ridiculed employees, made demeaning comments about women in general and at least one African-American mother in particular and belittled employees for their faith in God. For example, he called Jennifer Watson, an African-American employed as a front desk clerk at La Quinta-Federal Way, a ‘welfare mother’ and implied that she should abort her pregnancy, according to the EEOC. Operations Manager Dana Miller and other female employees at the Best Western Tacoma Dome faced inappropriate comments about their physical appearance and personal lives, as we…