Firm News

Haeggquist & Eck Files Pregnancy Discrimination and Wrongful Termination Case Against Sharp Health Plan

Sharp Health Plan wrongfully terminated two employees who were eight months pregnant this fall because the women planned to take legally protected pregnancy leave, a new lawsuit filed by Haeggquist & Eck attorneys Alreen Haeggquist and Aaron Olsen alleges.

Plaintiffs Natali Osuna and Veronica Osuna, who had respectively worked for Sharp for 11 years and five years as enrollment specialists within the company’s finance division and had consistent histories of stellar performance reviews, were both pregnant and due to give birth around September 2016. Both planned to take protected leaves of absence through January 2017, which happened to coincide with Sharp’s plans to implement Healthedge, a new integrated software system for processing health insurance claims and applications.

The case alleges that in July, the plaintiffs were notified that they would be laid off because their department was closing. But a mere four hours after they were given the news, Sharp began posting jobs that were essentially identical to theirs, but just using the new system. Sharp planned to conduct training on the new system during plaintiffs’ planned maternity leaves, with full implementation to take place in January 2017. Both women applied for every available position they were qualified for within Sharp system and were turned down for each, according to the complaint.

“Sharp dealt our clients a stunning blow by terminating them – and leaving them without health insurance – when they were eight months pregnant,” Haeggquist & Eck Managing Partner Alreen Haeggquist said. “It wasn’t convenient for Sharp to have our clients out on legally protected leave during the company’s planned implementation of new software, so Sharp just callously cast them aside on the pretext of closing their department. What should have been a beautiful time for these women became incredibly stressful, and we look forward to vindicating their interests in court.”

The case alleges violations of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) Laws, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Osuna v. Sharp Health Plan is pending in San Diego Superior Court.

EMPLOYEES: If you believe you have been discriminated or retaliated against at work because you are pregnant or took protected medical leave, click here or call (619) 342-8000 to contact the employee rights attorneys at Haeggquist & Eck for a free case evaluation.

Haeggquist & Eck Attorneys Among Nominees For National Association of Woman Business Owners “Bravo” Awards

Two Haeggquist & Eck partners have been nominated for the National Association of Women Business Owners’ annual “BRAVO” awards, the firm announced today.

Amber Eck is among the nominees for NAWBO’s Woman Business Owner of the Year award, while Alreen Haeggquist was nominated for the Women’s Advocate of the Year accolade for her work representing women in wrongful termination and sexual harassment cases.

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has served since its inception in 1975 as the unified voice of over 9 million women-owned businesses in the United States. The annual BRAVO awards honor the accomplishments and contributions of entrepreneurial women who are leading the way in their local business communities. Local award winners will be announced on May 18 at NAWBO’s annual award luncheon, which is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. at Cape Rey Carlsbad, 1 Ponto Road in Carlsbad, Calif.

To schedule your free initial consultation, contact us online or call (619) 342-8000 today!

Aaron Olsen Named To 2016 California Rising Stars List

We are pleased to announce that Aaron Olsen has been selected to the 2016 California Rising Stars list. This is an exclusive list, recognizing no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state.

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a research-driven, peer-influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are selected from more than 70 practice areas and all firm sizes, assuring a credible and relevant annual list.

The objective of Super Lawyers is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys to be used as a resource for both attorneys and consumers seeking legal counsel.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country, as well as in the California Super Lawyers Digital Magazine.

Please join us in congratulating Aaron Olsen on his nomination. For more information about Super Lawyers, go to SuperLawyers.com.

To schedule your free initial consultation, contact us online or call (619) 342-8000 today!

Alreen Haeggquist Named To the 2016 California Super Lawyers List

We are pleased to announce that Managing Partner Alreen Haeggquist has been selected to the 2016 California Super Lawyers list. This is an exclusive list, recognizing no more than five percent of attorneys in the state.

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are selected from more than 70 practice areas and all firm sizes, assuring a credible and relevant annual list.

The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes:

• Peer nominations• Independent research by Super Lawyers• Evaluations from a highly credentialed panel of attorneys

The objective of Super Lawyers is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys to be used as a resource for both referring attorneys and consumers seeking legal counsel.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country, as well as the California Super Lawyers Digital Magazine.

Please join us in congratulating Alreen on her selection. For more information about Super Lawyers, go to SuperLawyers.com.

To schedule your free initial consultation, contact us online or call (619) 342-8000 today!

H&E Law Featured in the San Diego Daily Transcript’s 2015 Women of Influence Special Edition

Haeggquist & Eck has gone up against some big names, including Apple, Sony and Trump University. The San Diego-based law firm represents employees who are wrongfully terminated, retaliated against, or experience workplace discrimination and harassment. In addition, the firm handles consumer fraud, securities and employment class actions.

Stepping up for people in need is a motivating force for Helen Zeldes, Alreen Haeggquist and Amber Eck.

“At our firm, we share a passion to speak up on behalf of those who don’t have a voice,” Zeldes said. “As women who live in a democratic country where we can exercise our civil rights, we feel it is a privilege to do so for our clients.”

The partners met while working at the nation’s largest plaintiff’s class-action firm, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP (“Robbins Geller,” formerly known as “Lerach Coughlin” and “Milberg Weiss”). Zeldes and Haeggquist left to start their new practice in 2008, and Eck joined them in March 2010. The firm has since grown to six attorneys, including one of counsel, and two support staff. In June, the team will move to new offices in the NBC Building downtown. Clients are serviced nationwide depending on a practice area, such as consumer class actions and securities. Employment cases are primarily litigated in San Diego.

Clients around the country are thankful they’ve had the only all-female-partners plaintiffs’ law firm in San Diego on their side. Each partner points with pride to particular cases that had positive outcomes.

“When I was in law school at the University of Hawaii, I was a paid intern on a human-rights case on behalf of Burmese refugees. It was a very inspiring case that motivated me to do the kind of work that I do,” Zeldes said. At Robbins Geller, Zeldes and Haeggquist worked for many years in the consumer, antitrust and insurance fraud class-action practice group. Zeldes was instrumental in litigating a series of nationwide senior annuities fraud class actions in which Lerach Coughlin was appointed co-lead counsel.

At Robbins Geller, Haeggquist participated and played an instrumental role in the successful prosecution and settlement of numerous antitrust and unfair competition cases.

“Now, I primarily represent employees who have been discriminated against or harassed by their employers.” Haeggquist said. “I’m always proud when we obtain a recovery that changes the employee’s life, so they can move forward and get past the conduct they, unfortunately, had to endure.”

Eck was a partner for 12 years at Robbins Geller. She litigated many shareholders and derivative class actions, resulting in substantial recoveries for investors, and extensive corporate governance changes.

“I have had the opportunity to stand up for clients’ rights in a wide variety of situations,” said Eck, “from shareholders harmed by securities fraud, to victims of real estate investing scams, unethical timeshare practices, or other consumer scams, to employees who have been treated unlawfully and unfairly. It is often challenging, but is extremely rewarding.”

The partners credit other women for influencing their decision to pursue legal careers.

“My mom was a very strong and outspoken woman and because of her, it always occurred to me to speak up,” Zeldes said. “I come from a family with a background in activism. My grandfather was active in the civil-rights movement and my mom always encouraged us to speak up to injustice.”

“My mother also inspired me to stand up,” Haeggquist said. “However, it was her passivity — witnessing her failure to stand up when she needed to — that gave me the motivation to stand up for others, ever since I was a young girl.”

“I was fortunate to have the support and encouragement of several strong women in my career, from my law school mentor and professor Jane Cohen, to my mom and my aunt, Harvard professor and author Diana Eck, and my colleagues Anita Laing and Mary Blasy,” said Eck.

All mothers of children younger than age 11, the partners are active in their profession and the community. Zeldes serves on the advisory board of the Girls Thank Tank, which works on behalf of the homeless community in San Diego.

Haeggquist is a founding board member of GTT, is on the advisory board of GTT, on the board of Consumers Attorneys of San Diego, and is co-chairwoman of its Community Outreach Committee. Eck has been active in the legal community as a member of the Enright and Welsh Inns of Court, and in her local community as a Girl Scout leader, Deacon and GATE District Advisory Council representative.

“We create a really positive environment for ourselves and our employees,” Haeggquist said. Zeldes Haeggquist and Eck walk their talk. “We go the extra mile to take care of our employees, host special events for them and encourage our staff to join us in activities that give back to our community.”

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To schedule your free initial consultation, contact us online or call (619) 342-8000 today!

Pacific Coast Oil Trust (NYSE: ROYT)

On July 1, 2014, we filed a securities class Complaint against Pacific Coast Oil Trust (ROYT), several of its top executives, and underwriters for making materially misleading statements and omitting material information from the Company’s Registration Statements and Prospectuses.

Class Members in this action include shareholders who purchased or otherwise acquired ROYT securities pursuant or traceable to the registration statement that became effective on May 2, 2012, and the prospectuses issued thereto (the “Registration Statement”), and the registration statement that became effective on September 19, 2013, and the prospectuses issued thereto (the “Secondary Registration Statement”).  We are pursuing negligence and strict liability remedies under the Securities Act of 1933.

To schedule your free initial consultation, contact us online or call (619) 342-8000 today!

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