Patrik Griego of the Eureka firm of Janssen, Malloy, Needham, Morrison, Reinholtsen, Crowley & Griego, LLP has been selected as Consumer Attorneys of California's ("CAOC") Street Fighter of the Year. The award winner was announced at CAOC’s 48th Annual Convention Saturday in San Francisco. The achievement was recognized by the California State Senate, who issued a declaration of recognition and presented it to Mr. Griego of the Janssen Law Firm.
Eureka Personal Injury Lawyer Griego was honored for his work in Beals v. Sun Valley Floral Farms, et al. He took a case that several lawyers had turned down because of the relatively small amount of money at stake in the claims. He also had the challenge of representing a client base that included many who were transient, did not speak English and were undocumented.
About a thousand workers had been unlawfully denied overtime pay because their employer, Sun Valley Floral Farms, declared their work to be "harvesting" flowers, which would make them not entitled to overtime pay. But the workers’ actual task was bunching and wrapping tulips to be sent to retailers, where the flowers would be sold in that form. That work qualified the workers to receive overtime for working more than eight hours in a day or more than 40 hours in a week.
Many workers suspected they were entitled to overtime, but they were afraid to raise the issue because they feared deportation. Griego assured the workers their employer could not use their immigration status as a defense, and he won an award that compensated workers for lost overtime pay over a four-year period.
Consumer Attorneys of California, founded in 1962, strives to keep courts accessible to everyone, not merely the wealthy. Consumer attorneys have led efforts to bring the tobacco industry to heel, make cars safer, protect individual privacy, defend wage-earners against bosses who would exploit them, and help working people whose life savings have been ravaged by unscrupulous financiers.