We are pleased to announce that Davis, Cowell & Bowe, LLP has changed its name to McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry, LLP. There is no change in personnel, and we continue working from the same offices in San Francisco and Las Vegas.
In American Hotel & Lodging Association et al. v. City of Los Angeles et al., No. 15–55909, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Los Angeles’ Citywide Hotel Minimum Wage Ordinance—which raises the wages of thousands of workers at large hotels in Los Angeles—over a federal labor preemption challenge brought by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. The Court held that the Ordinance was not preempted under the Machinists strand of federal labor preemption and that the ability of unions and unionized employers to opt-out of the ordinance’s requirements through their collective bargaining agreements did not invalidate the ordinance. Davis, Cowell & Bowe represented UNITE HERE Local 11 as an Intervenor, both in the district court and on appeal.
Before joining DCB, Yonina, a graduate of Harvard Law School, clerked for the Honorable Roslyn O. Silver in the District of Arizona and practiced civil and employment law for a small firm in San Francisco. At Harvard, Yonina was an active member of the Human Rights Clinic, focusing primarily on corporate accountability for human rights violations.
Before joining the firm, Kim clerked for the Honorable Robert C. Brack in the District of New Mexico. While in law school at UC Berkeley School of Law, Kim served as Co-Editor in Chief of the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law and volunteered with the Workers’ Rights Clinic. Kim is also a former teacher.
Alex graduated from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. During law school he served as Senior Supervising Editor for Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly and externed for the Honorable Jon S. Tigar at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In addition to his work at DCB, Alex volunteers as a legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild.
Davis, Cowell & Bowe welcomes associate Brandon Greene to its San Francisco office. Brandon received his JD from Boston University School of Law, where he was a Public Interest Scholar and Martin Luther King Social Justice Fellow. While in law school, Brandon served as the Northeastern Regional Attorney General for the National Black Law Students Association. He also represented clients as a student representative in the Housing, Employment, Family, and Disability law clinic and worked as a legal fellow in the office of Governor Deval Patrick. Prior to law school, Brandon served with AmeriCorps at Western High School and as an advisory board member of the Stop the F Street Closure Coalition in West Las Vegas, developing communications materials in a successful campaign to open wrongfully closed streets.
The Daily Journal, a leading California legal newspaper, recognized DCB attorney Paul More as one of California’s “Top 100 Lawyers.” The award honors “attorneys whose work is having the widest impact” and “is changing an industry or the law or the society as a whole.” The Daily Journal cited More’s work on Ralphs Grocery Company v. United Food & Commercial Workers Local 8, 55 Cal.4th 1083 (2012), in which the California Supreme Court upheld two important state labor statutes over constitutional challenge.
Davis, Cowell & Bowe and co-counsel The Impact Fund have won a significant settlement from Arizona grocery chain Bashas’ Inc. in Estrada v. Bashas’. Bashas’ will pay its employees and former employees $6.5 million to settle a class action accusing the grocery chain of discriminating against Hispanic workers for almost a decade by paying them less than white employees.
Under the terms of the settlement, Bashas’ will pay $6.5 million to resolve claims that the chain used lower pay scales to pay Hispanic workers at its Food City stores from 1998 to 2007 in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, affecting a class of over 12,000 employees.
The 2002 lawsuit accused Bashas’ of paying employees at its Food City locations less than employees at its Bashas’ or gourmet-focused A.J. Fine Foods locations. The workforce at Food City, which caters to Hispanic customers, was typically about 75 percent Hispanic, whereas employees at Bashas’ and A.J. Fine Foods were mostly white. In 2005, the district court partially certified the class, granting certification of the working conditions claims, but denying certification of the equal pay claims. In 2008, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of certification on the pay claim and sent the case back to the district court.
The Nevada Courts have upheld the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on major public construction projects. In Associated Builders & Contractors, Nevada Chapter v. Clark County et al., Nevada’s Eighth Judicial District rejected a non-union contractor association’s claim that use of a PLA on multi-phase construction work at Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport violated state competitive-bidding statutes. The Court also concluded that plaintiff ABC lacked standing to challenge the McCarran Airport PLA. On appeal, the Nevada Supreme Court also refused to enjoin work under the McCarran Airport PLA.
McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry represented the Southern Nevada Building & Construction Trades Council, which intervened as a defendant in the action.
The district court granted final approval of the parties’ proposed class action settlement in Ellis v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, the Costco gender discrimination class action. The settlement establishes a process through which class members can present claims that they were denied or delayed a promotion to Assistant General Manager or General Manager because of their gender. An impartial arbitrator will then decide if claims are successful.