Appeals Ct: NV Officials On The Hook For Failing To Investigate Worker’s Complaint

The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that four Nevada officials can be sued for allegedly scuttling an investigation into a retaliation complaint filed by a whistleblower who worked at Ear Nose and Throat Associates (ENTA) in Las Vegas, NV.

Helen Armstrong, a human resources supervisor at ENTA, reported the health and safety violations at ENTA in 2014 to the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NOSHA), a state agency, when ENTA failed to take action. She alleged, among other things, the practice reused contaminated syringes and sold expired prescriptions.

NOSHA investigated and issued ENTA a fine.

ENTA allegedly immediately began retaliating against Armstrong, who had worked there for 23 years, and eventually fired her in 2016.

In an important ruling, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, has ruled that  “at will” employees like Armstrong have a limited property interest in their job and can’t be fired for a “prohibited reason” like reporting health and safety violations to NOSHA. 

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Sexual Assault Victims On Trial (Yet Again) In Maxwell Case

There isn’t much that Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorney can do in Maxwell’s child sex-trafficking trial except to put her accusers on trial.

Maxwell’s attorney Bobby C. Sternheim received permission from U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan to call as an expert witness in Maxwell’s trial Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist and “false memory” expert. Technically, Judge Nathan denied the government’s motion to block Loftus’ testimony.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Loftus has been an expert witness in more than 300 trials involving sexual misconduct and murder, including those of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, serial killer Ted Bundy and alleged pedophile Michael Jackson. She typically testifies that victims’ memories are unreliable and can be affected by the media or crass commercial concerns. She is a distinguished professor of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irving.

Loftus may be Maxwell’s only hope of creating a reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors and securing either a mistrial or acquittal.

A parade of women are expected to say that Maxwell, now 59, befriended them when they were young girls (some as young as 14), took them shopping and made them feel special, and groomed them for sexual assault by financier and convicted child molester Jeffrey Epstein.

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Average 2,202% Wage Gap Between CEO and Employees

There is a national debate about the wage gap between women and men and minorities and white people. But the largest wage gap by far is between chief executive officers and the people who work for them.

A careers board site, Lensa, examined the extent of the CEO to employee wage gap at the 100 biggest companies in the United States and found the CEO earns $1,276,520.77 more than workers annually.

Here are the companies with the biggest wage gap:

  • Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey earned $1.60 million, compared to the median employee pay of $11,342, for a difference of $14007 percent.
  • Starbuck Corp. CEO Kevin Johnson earned $1.54 million, compared to the median employee pay of $12,113, for a difference of $12617 percent.
  • Chipolte Mexican Grill CEO Brian Niccol earned $1.20 million, compared to the median employee pay of $14,155, for a difference of 8378 percent.
  • Viacom CEO Robert M. Bakish earned $3.00 million, compared to the median employee pay of $39,110, for a difference of 7571 percent.
  • Walmart CEO Doug McMillon earned $1.27 million, compared to the median employee pay of $20,942, for a difference of 5975 percent.

To add insult to injury, employees at Coca-Cola, which recorded the highest disparity between CEO and employee pay, had the lowest median salary at $11,342. And Starbucks is the biggest coffee chain in the word and yet its workers receive the second lowest average wage, $12,113. At Chipotle, the average employee takes home $14,155, which is equivalent to about 1.18% of CEO Niccol’s $1.20 million salary.

And Then There Is Tesla

The company with the smallest wage gap between the CEO and median worker is Tesla, where CEO Elon Musk actually earns less than the average employee. Musk earns $23,760 compared to the average employee pay of $58,455. This represents a difference of minus 59%.

But what does Tesla’s ranking really mean? Musk is ranked by Forbes as the first or second richest man in the world.

In 2020, Musk was the highest-paid CEO, receiving $6.66 billion worth of compensation, despite having a minimal base salary.

Perhaps Musk takes a small paycheck to lower his federal income tax obligation?

Outrage About China’s Treatment of Peng Shuai

There is more than a little bit of hypocrisy with respect to the outrage in the U.S. about China’s treatment of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai’s following her sexual assault complaint against Chinese ex premier Zhang Gaoli.

Things are not going so great in the United States for victims of sexual assault.

MONEY AND JUSTICE

I had to twice check the date on a story published this week by The New York Times because it seemed like a relic from the 1970s.

Christopher Belter, then 16 and a student at an elite private boys school, pleaded guilty to the sexually attacking four teens (including the rape of at least one victim). He faced up to eight years in prison but instead was sentenced to probation.

County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III of Niagara, N.Y., claims he “prayed over” the appropriate sentence in the case and concluded that “incarceration or partial incarceration isn’t appropriate” for Belter.

The Buffalo News reported that Peter M. Wydysh, an assistant district attorney, did not make a sentencing recommendation to the court. This is unusual, especially since Belter pled guilty to four counts of sexual attacks on teenage girls.

Is it purely coincidental that Belter comes from an extremely wealthy family?

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Elon Musk Kicks Sand In Sanders’ Face

Americans were treated to an example of classic bullying recently when Elon Musk responded to a demand by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders “that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share.”

It’s hard to understand why Musk, the world’s richest man, took offense to Sanders’ comment. But that’s not the issue. It’s how he took offense.

Musk tweeted about Sanders: “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive. ”

Musk engaged in a personal attack on Sanders based upon a trait over which Sanders has no control. Sanders is 80 years of age.

It’s as if Musk, 50, was kicking sand in Sanders’ face.

Charles Atlas

Some may remember a body builder called Charles Atlas who developed an exercise program in the 1930s that spawned a memorable advertising campaign in which a muscular bully at a beach humiliates a skinny man who is walking with a beautiful date.

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