For some reason, Pumpkin is following me around the house this morning. She has already been fed, so I don’t know what is up. I pet her, and she turns her back. Cats are weird.

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I have mediation today for a dairy farmer. His former employee claims there he was discriminated against by being denied certain work because he can’t speak English. This is a dairy farm in California - most workers speak little or no English. While some of the guys in the work he wanted speak some English, others do not. From a jury standpoint, there is not a single worker who can testify without an interpreter, and questioning immigrant workers about their knowledge of English is pretty damn touchy.

The other workers told my investigator that the problem was that the plaintiff was a asshole, and no one wanted to work with him. Ever have a nightmare co-worker? This was that guy. The farmer moved him around to find someone he could work with, but everyone hated him. He got into a disagreement with a co-worker in the barn, and he sprayed the guy with water. He was fired.

He says he could not take meal or rest breaks, but the other workers say that is not true. They say he was always telling them to cut the breaks short so they could finish the work and go home.

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The only claim they have is a problem that can occur when people milk cows at night. You have a shift from 7pm to 3 am. The shift cuts across 2 calendar days. On your day off, you get off at 3 am, and do not come back until 7 pm the next day - substantially more than 24 hours off.

But because it cuts across 2 calendar days, the other attorney says this is not a “day off.” California law requires overtime on the 7th day if someone works 7 consecutive days in a single workweek. They say he is owed these wages, because although he got more than 24 consecutive hours off each week, that time cut across 2 calendar days.

If he is right, the guy is owed about $8000. They have valued the case at $388,000. Lawyers suck, and litigation is bullshit. This is straight up extortion.