Archives for the month of: June, 2012

Six Million Dollar Settlement Is A Reminder Of The Importance Of Complying With The California Family Rights Act
Posted by Elizabeth Arce on May 03, 2011

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and Verizon Services Corporation, which employs more than 7,000 people, agreed to settle a class action lawsuit challenging the company’s handling of family medical leave requests under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The DFEH’s lawsuit against Verizon alleges that the company had several policies and procedures that resulted in a class of current and former employees who were improperly denied CFRA leave, were disciplined for absences that were CFRA qualifying, and/or were terminated for taking CFRA qualifying leave.
Although the DFEH did not specifically identify Verizon’s policies and practices that served as the basis for the lawsuit, the DFEH gave two examples of the company’s allegedly unlawful conduct. First, Verizon required employees’ to provide more information to support their requests for CFRA leave than is necessary under the law. When the employee failed to provide the additional information, Verizon improperly denied the requests. Second, Verizon denied CFRA leave requests as untimely even though, in the DFEH’s view, the requests were timely made.
The lawsuit was brought after the DFEH’s Special Investigations Unit spent two years investigating Verizon’s CFRA’s practices. The investigation was started after the DFEH received a number of complaints in 2008 from current and former Verizon employees accusing the company of violating their right to take family medical leave under the CFRA. Verizon fully cooperated with the investigation and did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Verizon agreed to pay over six million dollars to current and former employees adversely affected by the company’s unlawful practices. In addition, Verizon agreed to review and revise its leave policies and procedures. The company also agreed to continue an existing internal review process employees can use to appeal denials of requested CFRA leave. Finally, Verizon agreed to provide training to all California officers, managers, supervisors, and human resources personnel on the proper handling of CFRA requests. According to the DFEH, the settlement is the largest in its history.
The settlement between the DFEH and Verizon did not receive much attention by the media or legal practitioners. However, the settlement deserves notice because it serves as an important reminder to employers of the need to have a thorough understanding of the CFRA and how its application may affect other leave laws such as the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Pregnancy Disability Leave. For example, new FMLA regulations went into effect in 2009. However, existing CFRA regulations still refer to the 1995 version of the regulations. Consequently, it is important for employers to understand the differences between the FMLA and CFRA. In addition, employers should periodically review their leave policies and practices to make sure they comply with the current law, and provide training to all employees who handle leave requests on the proper handling of them.
Photo Credit: Verizon Logo by, on Flickr


Aggravated Harassment:

I have been contacted quite a bit over a post that I put out there about Aggravated Harassment. This law is not to be used as a retaliatory means but to help you as a victim, in a workplace like Verizon.

You see Verizon will deny that their managers are not harassing a certain group, religion or color. So they will stated that their managers bully or harass everyone equally. They will stated that their managers are equal opportunity offenders. What this does is get them off the off for discrimination or retaliation charges to a protected class.

Verizon responded on an official document from a state / federal investigation, on my investigation that was performed by The Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination / Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on my complaint of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, as they stated: “The investigation yielded that Benvie had a reputation of being a bully and an equal opportunity offender. Race was not an issue with Benvie’s condescending and obnoxious behavior and inappropriate comments to almost everyone that he comes in contact with. McGovern (an EEO Officer in Boston Massachusetts for Verizon) had substantiated complaints from Caucasian technicians concerning Benvie’s offensive management style. Best, simply had a foul mouth and did not differentiate between anyone with the manner in which she spoke.

So what the “Aggravated Harassment” charge does is, strip Verizon and other companies from using this lame excuse to continue to violate your rights.

From 2004 until Verizon wrongfully terminated me in 2008 for standing up for my rights. I was an employee at Verizon and was being brutally harassed, discriminated against, retaliated against, targeted, bullied and was forced to endure numerous racial comments then terminated for making complaints about it.

I placed my issues in Verizon’s hands, and they failed me. I placed them in the hands of the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination, and they failed me as well. I placed them into the hands of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the failed me also. Now it is the hands of the U.S. Federal Courts – and 8 years later – I am still awaiting JUSTICE!

I learned over time, there was no law to protect people from workplace bullies. I find this unacceptable and unfair to the workers in this country, and it’s a shame. But there is something else; and I wish I knew back them that I am going to share with all of you now to help you.

There is a law, which will help you against managers that are intentionally targeting and harassing you. But before you move forward on this, check with your state and local courts and attorneys.

As I know from being an employee in Verizon, it is run improper and things need to change now. So I have made it my life’s journey to strip them and drop them to their knees, one bite at a time. So yes, it is personal!!

Over the last few weeks, I have helped no many Verizon employees press criminal charges against Verizon management, for the continued and relentless harassment that fell under the law of, “Aggravated Harassment.”

These managers had to stand in front of the judge, on these charges, and had to make a plea. They had to hire their own attorneys, and will continue to spend money out of their pockets. Verizon and the EEOC protect these horrendous Verizon managers and deny or delay justice, but the criminal courts could care less who they work for. They are on their own now. Verizon will not pay for their attorneys.

My opinion is this, if I had to do things over and knew about this law; I would have filed criminal charges on managers like: “Mal Benvie, Anne Best, Paul McCarthy and Patty Regan (all from the Southeast Massachusetts area for Verizon), 4 managers that deserve more than justice.

I now know that within Verizon’s walls, they make the rules and alter them as they so please. You will never win, but now if your take it outside into the criminal courts, the game will now be played equally.

I first wanted to let you know, not all managers are bad. There are so many that really wants to be a manager, and treat your members well, but they are in fear of their own lives and careers. So they have been forced, to not manager people but to dictate instead utilizing fear and intimidation as the primary means to get their productivity. The abuse does come from the top down, as your members and so many 1st level mangers pay the price. This does not mean it is an excusable situation, but so many are in fear each day to do the right thing.

If other employees besides yourself have also had the same harassing issues, from bad managers and these managers are continuously moved around to keep protecting them (like the catholic priest were), the only way to keep tabs on their inappropriate and harassing behavior, is through court records.

As time goes, these harassing managers have a few choices:
• Keep paying for attorneys – because Verizon will not pay for their attorneys.
• Built a court and criminal record, which will either get them fired, or no one else will hire them.
• Possibly, and eventually go to jail as they may have numerous criminal complaints against them.
• Or finally STOP harassing the employees that deserve respect.

You do not have to pay for filing these charges at the police station, but these harassing manages have to pay attorney fees and possibly time out of work.

Understand this, if you begin to file criminal charges on the managers that are harassing you (remember not bullying you, as there is NO LAW to protect you from bullying) you will have a case.

Always remember:
• Always tell the truth – always tell the truth.
• Document everything! Verizon taught me that if you never document it, it never happened.
• And if you have witnessed, have them provide you with their statement – ASAP.

Read the information below to help you. Right now, this is your only hope, before the workplace bullying in one day a law.

You have a right to a healthy and safe work environment; sometimes you may have to fight for that right. Believe me so, Verizon will come after you’re for making a stand, just keep protecting yourself, and call the police if you feel threatened. Do not waste your time calling Verizon corporate Security. They are managers, on management payrolls, and are bought and paid for. DO NOT TRUST VERIZON COPORATE SECURITY – THEY ARE CURRUPT.

What is Aggravated Harassment?:
Harassment is a criminal offense that involves unwelcome actions, which may be intentional or unintentional, performed by one person toward another person. Harassment makes the receiving person feel uncomfortable, irritated, or fearful for his or her safety. Aggravated harassment is a broad legal term that refers to intentional actions designated to intimidate or terrorize another person. The exact legal definition may vary depending on the state, region, or country the action occurs in; however, most jurisdictions tend to categorize the crime into either first or second degrees according to the severity. The punishment will depend on whether the charges are considered first or second degree.
The less severe form of aggravated harassment is second degree. This may include contacting another person through repeated letters, telephone, or other electronic means, even after the victim has asked the perpetrator to stop. The perpetrator will usually act with the intent to make the victim feel uncomfortable or unsafe. It may also include certain physical contact, such shoving or striking, or just the threat of inflicting physical contact. A second degree form of the crime is generally a misdemeanor or more minor crime.

PDF Aggravated Harassment:

State Laws:

Stay strong – our time is now!!

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
-Edmund Burke

Neal W. Dias

My Blog Page:
Blog Address (GOOGLE): Bullying at Verizon – Enough is Enough

• Justice at Verizon
• Enough is Enough – Stop Workplace Bullying

Press Release June 11, 2012:

My Speech / News Paper Article:

Healthy Workplace Bill Press Conference in New York April 30, 2012 (Video):

Healthy Workplace Bill Press Conference in New York April 30, 2012 (Newspaper Article):

Healthy Workplace Bill:
Healthy Workplace National Bill page:


Bullying at Verizon – Enough is Enough / Petition:

Enough is Enough – Stop Workplace Bullying / National Petition:

National Petition:
Here’s a National Petition against Workplace Bullying that generates individual emails notifying both President Obama & DOL Secretary Solis each time someone signs — please help us reach our goal and get the word out:

Verizon Lawsuit Links:\


[Photo] UNDIE BOSS: Robert Esposito at home yesterday.November 1, 2006 — A
top Verizon executive repeatedly reached out and touched himself in front of
a female employee while dressed in women’s lingerie, court papers charge.

Cheryll Harrell, 53, says that over a three-year period, Robert Esposito,
60, told her about his “lingerie fetish,” and then showed his lingerie – and
more – to her.

Esposito denied the accusations in the Manhattan Supreme Court suit.

“I don’t know where she’s getting all this from. It sounds like she just has
it in for me,” he told The Post last night.

At their Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, home, Esposito’s wife was visibly shaken
by the fact that her husband was being sued for sexual harassment – even
without knowing the details.

Walking out of earshot of his wife, Esposito said, “If someone has it in for
you, you never know . . . ”

Verizon spokeswoman Heather Wilner declined to comment on the suit, but said
the company had “taken action. Mr. Esposito is no longer with Verizon.”

Esposito said he retired from the company.

Harrell became central office supervisor in November 2003, which is when
Esposito, the director of network operations, became her boss.

She said he soon subjected her to a “progressively pervasive, sexually
hostile and offensive work environment,” including making “obscene and lewd
comments” about her “breasts and buttocks.”

In June 2004, it went from bad to weird, the suit says. Esposito told
Harrell he had a “lingerie fetish,” and “showed her a duffel bag full of
women’s lingerie, which he said he enjoyed wearing.” He then told her he
wanted to “get into your panties.”

Harrell said she repeatedly asked Esposito to stop, but was afraid to
complain to higher-ups for fear she’d lose her job.

Harrell’s duties included once a month one-on-one meetings with Esposito,
which he allegedly used for sex talk, asking if she would “watch him dress
and undress in women’s lingerie.”

When she said no, Esposito allegedly decided to take matters into his own

He called her into his office, and when she went in, he was “dressed in a
black brassier, panties, stockings and heels. When she sought to leave,
Esposito began making gyrating pelvic motions while proceeding to expose
himself and to masturbate,” the suit says.

A threat to go to higher-ups temporarily stopped the insanity, but in the
fall of 2005, Harrell was called into his office and again found him
“dressed up in a bra and woman’s underpants,” the suit says.

When she said she was going to report him, he smiled, took out a sex toy
from his duffel bag and mimicked oral sex, she alleges.

Harrell eventually sent an anonymous complaint about Esposito to a Verizon
exec, and an investigation was launched after other women apparently
complained, the suit says.

“We believe, at the very least, there were three or four other victims,”
said Harrell’s lawyer, Christina Ullo. The suit says Esposito was allowed to

The suit seeks monetary damages from Verizon for “fostering and condoning a
sex-based hostile work environment” and causing Harrell “mental distress,
anguish, pain and suffering.”


Verizon Pays $300,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Case

Asher Adelman
Workplace Issues Examiner

Verizon Pennsylvania Inc. has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit that was filed by the EEOC on behalf of Theresa Allen, a former Verizon employee.

Allen alleges that she was subjected to sexual harassment by coworkers. When she complained to Verizon management about the abusive behavior, which included the posting of sexually inappropriate graffiti and materials at the Verizon Pennsylvania facility, her coworkers retaliated against her and created a hostile work environment.

The EEOC said, “Even though management officials knew about the retaliatory harassment, they did not investigate or take action to stop it. Instead, the company fired Allen in retaliation for her complaints.”.

Most Valuable Pervert

Some industries are prone to wrongdoing, criminal and otherwise. The chemical, tobacco, pharmaceutical and auto industries come to mind. The telephone industry is not usually a regular in the criminogenic crowd. That’s why NYNEX, the regional telephone company serving New York and the New England states, stands out.

In May 1990, a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. indicted NYNEX on one count of criminal contempt for violating the consent decree that broke up the giant Bell operating system. The U.S. Justice Department began its investigation after Scott Rafferty, a lawyer hired for NYNEX’s Telco subsidiary, questioned the legality of giving MCI Communications access to Telco computer facilities. Rafferty says he was fired for questioning the “regulatory exposure” of a number of NYNEX’s business operations.

In October 1990, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reached an agreement with the company settling FCC charges brought in February that the company overcharged its unregulated affiliates by $35.5 million. The company was fined $1.4 million. The settlement decree, approved by a vote of 5-0, did not cite findings of wrongdoing. But Commissioner Andrew C. Barrett said in a separate opinion that he would have preferred to have had such a finding. Barrett said there was “sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to find that NYNEX violated the FCC’s rules regarding transactions between telephone companies and their nonregulated affiliates.”

Rafferty calls the FCC settlement with NYNEX a sellout.

The New York Public Service Commission apparently didn’t think very highly of NYNEX’s veracity or competence either. It reduced the company’s $945 million rate request to $23 million.

Company executives were apparently paying more attention to the libidinous needs of fellow male executives than they were to the rights of the company’s phone customers. From 1984 to 1988, NYNEX allegedly held “pervert conventions” in Florida, where employees and suppliers partied together. Awards were given at the convention: one NYNEX employee won the “Procurement Award” for three consecutive years for “arranging for women” to appear at the conventions; others included the “Most Valuable Pervert Award” and the “Moon Over Miami Award.”

Rafferty charges that there were improper relationships with suppliers at the conventions that tainted business transactions. New York State officials allege that many suppliers who attended the conventions saw their business from NYNEX increase, but NYNEX denies this.

Instead of listening to Rafferty and other employees who sought an early exposure and resolution of incipient corruption within the company, NYNEX sought to silence the messengers. According to Rafferty, a number of other whistleblowers within the company faced this silencing treatment. Michael Burkhart was discharged by a NYNEX subsidiary after he questioned the use of illegal, one-of-a-kind contracts to give unlawful discounts to certain large corporate customers. Robert Zirkelbach was fired by a NYNEX subsidiary after he questioned markups as high as 1,004 percent that the NYNEX procurement subsidiary, MECO, was charging. Tobias Squitieri was fired after he complied with a New York state employment discrimination administration subpoena regarding the discharge of another employee.

Many of the fired employees have brought legal actions against NYNEX.

Businessweek Archives

Nynex And At&T Can’t Hang Up On This Scandal

Posted on April 16, 1995



Back in 1990, Nynex Corp. became the center of a lurid scandal involving bawdy parties at Florida hotels held annually by its suppliers. The explosive disclosures surfaced during a regulatory proceeding in a state rate case for Nynex’ New York Telephone unit. After investigations by the company and the state utility commission didn’t produce information that might have led to criminal charges, the issue of what dozens of party-goers dubbed the “perverts’ conventions” faded away.

Until now. BUSINESS WEEK has learned that the Securities & Exchange Commission is taking a look at the retreats as part of its ongoing investigation into a sprawling insider trading ring. On Feb. 9, the SEC charged that a group of 17 friends–many of whom had worked together at New York Telephone when it was part of AT&T–allegedly reaped $2.6 million trading on illegal tips on AT&T’s plans to take over several companies. On the same day, the Justice Dept. brought criminal securities fraud charges against six of the alleged insider trading ring members.

Now law-enforcement officials are trying to find out if the two scandals are linked. The weeklong retreats, from 1984 to as late as 1989, may have overlapped with some of the alleged insider trading, which took place from 1988 to 1991. On Apr. 5, the SEC issued at least two subpoenas requesting information about the retreats, including the closely guarded names of attendees, according to Scott J. Rafferty, a former Nynex employee who received one of the subpoenas.

One of the few names made public during the Nynex scandal was Lawrence Friedman, a former Nynex vice-president who arranged the parties. Friedman is also a member of the insider trading group charged by the SEC. And sources say at least two others named in the SEC’s complaint are on the secret list of those who attended the retreats: Thomas Alger, one of the two ringleaders, and Robert Flanagan, who was scheduled to be Alger’s roommate at the 1985 retreat at the Marina Bay Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. They were friends who had worked together at New York Telephone. Alger has pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy, while Flanagan is fighting the charges. Alger declined to comment. Friedman through his lawyer declined comment. Flanagan could not be reached.

“SECRET SOCIETY.” William R. McLucas, the SEC’s enforcement chief, also declined to comment. AT&T and Nynex weren’t accused of any wrongdoing in the trading scheme. AT&T had no comment. Nynex still refuses to discuss the Florida meetings, citing its policy against disclosing personnel matters. In the New York rate case, the company contended that such disclosures could strain marriages and hurt company morale. Nynex also argued that the identities of those who attended and the companies they represented, as well as alleged prostitution and other convention activities, are “trade secrets” that needn’t be disclosed. Accepting that argument, an administrative court judge ordered that the names remain under seal. “Had Nynex publicly disclosed their names, the wrongdoers wouldn’t have been able to keep the secret society together to do their insider trading,” says Rafferty, who alerted the SEC to the Nynex tie.

The SEC’s new focus on the Nynex parties could reveal the full extent of what is already one of the largest insider trading rings. The scheme was orchestrated by Alger and Charles L. Brumfield, both AT&T labor relations executives, the government charges. The men passed confidential information to friends and relatives about the company’s plans to acquire four companies–Paradyne, NCR, Digital Microwave, and Teradata–the SEC complaint says. After the participants illegally traded on the information, they passed back $300,000 of the illicit profits to Alger and Brumfield, who is known as “Big Red” because of his red hair. Brumfield also pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy.

BAD-DEBT SCAM. Another alleged participant was Joseph Penna, a union representative for 2,000 technicians and clerical personnel at AT&T’s computer unit, who negotiated contracts with Brumfield. Three days after AT&T had announced a $6 billion takeover mf NCR, Penna denounced the deal in an interview with the Newark (N.J.) Star Ledger. “I’m not going to stand by and allow that,” he said. But just days before the deal was announced, Penna allegedly made more than $36,000 in illegal profits from trades based on information about the imminent proposal, according to the SEC complaint. Penna had no comment.

One of the men under criminal indictment has been in trouble with the law before. Joseph A. Cusimano, a former executive vice-president of International Games Inc. in Joliet, Ill., pleaded guilty in 1992 for his part in a scheme to conceal $173,000 in political contributions. He was sentenced to three years’ probation and fined $99,000. Cusimano, a friend mf Brumfield, was the largest profiteer in the insider trading scheme, making more than $865,000, according to the SEC. The agency’s complaint also alleges that Cusimano falsified a promissory note to cover up payments he made to Brumfield in return for inside information. His attorney says Cusimano expects to be acquitted at his trial.

All six of the defendants in the criminal case have pleaded innocent. Their trial is scheduled for the fall. The SEC, meanwhile, is pursuing its case against the 17 individuals it has identified as part of the insider trading ring. With the renewed prosecutorial interest in the frolicking in Florida, that number could go higher.


MID-1988 Nynex investigates lewd gatherings of employees at Florida hotels from 1984 to 1988. Two convention organizers were dismissed, including Lawrence Friedman. In February, the SEC alleged that Friedman was involved in an illegal insider trading ring.

DEC. 1988 The SEC says the insider trading scheme started when Charles Brumfield, an AT&T executive, obtains nonpublic information about AT&T’s plan to buy Paradyne. He tips two former AT&T executives.

NOV. 1990 Brumfield learns of AT&T’s plans to acquire NCR and passes it on to Thomas Alger and others. During the next year, says the SEC, Brumfield passes tips about AT&T’s takeover of Digital Microwave and Teradata.

FEB. 1995 The SEC files charges against 17 people, including Brumfield and Alger, alleging they made illegal insider trading profits of $2.6 million.

APR. 1995 SEC starts exploring whether the Nynex gatherings and the AT&T insider trading ring are linked.

DATA: BUSINESS WEEKBy Michael Schroeder and Mark Lewyn in Washington

Probe Connects N.Y. Phone Firm to Bawdy Parties

July 12, 1990| Associated Press

NEW YORK — Investigators are looking into allegations that New York Telephone suppliers helped pay for bawdy parties and prostitutes at annual conventions of company employees, it was reported today.

State regulators are questioning whether the meetings at Florida resorts resulted in higher costs being paid by customers, The Wall Street Journal said.

Verizon Screwed Me

Posted Sat October 12, 2002, by Thomas S. written to Verizon Local Telephone (and FIOS)

The world thrives on communication today, which is why I’m so upset with the experience at Verizon Local Telephone, a situation that’s very frustrating. Quite honestly, I’m furious about this issue. Just for the record, here’s my telephone information: 631 348-0463.

I was a manager with Verizon for 18 years. Because I wanted to report workplace violence to security, my boss threatened to fire me. When I did not comply with her constant threats, I was terminated! I even received death threats in the mail! And Verizon used their force reduction to oust me, after keeping me out on a paid leave for 10 months while they planned this trickery! There is a lot more to this than I will go into now.

You have two choices: You can chose to contact me to discuss this further OR you can ignore me and keep your eyes on the news headlines because I have enough dirt on this company, including photos, recordings, witnesses, etc., to make EXCELLENT reading. This will make the NYNEX Pervert Convention look like a childs birthday party!

Because of what Verizon and their unethical practices did to me for trying to uphold what they “claim” is their Code of Ethics, my two young girls will be deprived of what I could have done for them had I still had my job. And since nothing is more important than my kids, I WILL CONTINUE to fight, write, publicize, etc. until I get the results I want!

If I do not hear from you by November 1, 2002, my information goes to the media.