Santa Fe ‘Time’s Up’ Lawsuits

Below are press links regarding our pending lawsuits, Christa Valdez and Madeleine Lauve v. International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (“IATSE”), IATSE Local 480, and Jon B. Hendry and Michelle Labounty v. IATSE, IATSE Local 480, and Jon B. Hendry. Persons with information may e-mail contact data to


Marie C. Baca, Suit Accuses NM Union Leader of Sexual Harassment, Albuquerque Journal, March 7, 2018.

Sami Edge, In Suit, Former Employee Accuses Film Union Official of Sexual Harassment, Santa Fe New Mexican, March 7, 2018.

Associated Press, Former Employee Accuses Union Leader of Sexual Harassment, Associated Press, March 8, 2018.

U.S. News & World Report, Former Employee Accuses Union Leader of Sexual Harassment, U.S. News and World Report, March 8, 2018.

David Robb, IATSE’s Albuquerque Local Boss Accused Of Sexual Harassment In Lawsuit, Deadline Hollywood, March 8, 2018.

Matthew Reichbach, Union Leader Accused of Sexual Harassment, NM Political Report, March 9, 2018.

David Robb, As New Mexico IATSE Boss Faces Sexual Harassment Suit, Dissidents Want Him Removed From Office, Deadline Hollywood, March 9, 2018.

Andrew Oxford and Phaedra Haywood, Union Leader, Accused of Harassment, Out at State Federation of Labor, Santa Fe New Mexican, March 12, 2018.

David Robb, Santa Fe IATSE Boss Jon Hendry Ousted As President Of New Mexico AFL-CIO, Deadline Hollywood, March 13, 2018.

Marie C. Baca, Hendry Out as AFL-CIO President, Albuquerque Journal, March 13, 2018.

Dan Boyd, NM Democratic Party Chairman Resigns Under Pressure, Albuquerque Journal, March 13, 2018.

Russell Contreras (Associated Press), New Mexico Dem Party Chair Resigns Amid Pressure, U.S. News and World Report, March 13, 2018.

Andy Lyman, State Dem Chair Resigns After Questioning Sexual Harassment Claim, NM Political Report, March 13, 2018.

Matt Grubs, Ellenberg Out as State Dem Chair; Second Woman Joins Lawsuit Against Jon Hendry and IATSE Local 480, Santa Fe Reporter, March 13, 2018.

David Robb, IATSE New Mexico Boss Jon Hendry Facing New Harassment Allegations As Second Woman Comes Forward, Deadline Hollywood, March 13, 2018.

Andrew Oxford, Second Woman Joins Lawsuit Against Film Union Official, Claiming Sexual Harassment, Santa Fe New Mexican, March 13, 2018.

David Robb, Santa Fe IATSE Boss Jon Hendry Sidelined Amid Sexual Harassment Claims, Deadline Hollywood, March 14, 2018.

Marie C. Baca, Film Union: `Protection’ of Local Chapter is Priority, Albuquerque Journal, March 14, 2018.

David Robb, Conflict Of Interest Questions Have Long Swirled Around New Mexico IATSE Boss Jon Hendry, Deadline Hollywood, March 16, 2018.

David Robb, Santa Fe IATSE Boss Jon Hendry Resigns Amid Sex Harassment Scandal, Deadline Hollywood, March 18, 2018.

Marie C. Baca, Film Union Agent Resigns After Two Women File Suit, Albuquerque Journal, March 18, 2018.

Andrew Oxford, Embattled Hendry Resigns From Union Post, Santa Fe New Mexican, March 18, 2018.

Andy Lyman, Hendry Out At IATSE Local 480, NM Political Report, March 19, 2018.

Todd Longwell, New Mexico Ex-IATSE Official Accused of Sexual Harassment Still Casts Long Shadow, Variety, June 20, 2018.

David Robb, Jon Hendry, Former IATSE Boss In Santa Fe, Hit With Third Sex Harassment Suit, Deadline Hollywood, July 20, 2018.

Phaedra Haywood, Third Woman Accuses Former Film Union Leader of Harassment, Santa Fe New Mexican, July 20, 2018.

Marie C. Baca, Third Woman Sues Former Labor Leader, Film Union, Albuquerque Journal, July 23, 2018.

Steve Terrell, Judge Upholds 4 Counts, Dismisses 2 in Ex-Film Official’s Sex Harassment Suit, Santa Fe New Mexican, February 13, 2019.

Comcast May Raise Bar on Employment Class Certification

With its decision in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013), the United States Supreme Court muddled the degree to which a district court may scrutinize the merits of a class action at the certification stage. In Comcast, the class plaintiffs sought to address one of the considerations for certification – the capacity for damages to be measured on a class-wide basis – by offering an expert damage model projecting damages under plaintiffs’ four, combined antitrust theories. While rejecting three of those theories, the district court certified the class on the basis of the fourth theory, coupled with the damage model. Comcast appealed, noting the damage model (1) had not separated damages by each of plaintiffs’ four theories, (2) thus, potentially included damages under antitrust theories the district court had rejected, and (3) in turn, could draw into the class persons not damaged under the one, permitted antitrust theory. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected Comcast’s argument, finding such examination of the damage model’s methodology would amount to an improper consideration of the merits of the case at the certification stage. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court reversed, held the class was improperly certified, and suggested class counsel attempting to prove they can quantify damages on a class-wide basis must:

  • tie each theory of class impact to a discrete calculation of damages, and
  • demonstrate the calculations are just and reasonable inferences, rather than speculation.

Whether Comcast will prompt closer scrutiny by district courts of merits other than damages during class certification remains to be seen.

By Dtobias (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

SOX Covers Employee Complaints of More Than Shareholder Fraud

An employee who complains of matters not specifically related to fraud against shareholders may still claim retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”). Lockheed Martin v. Department of Labor, No. 11-9524 (10th Cir. June 4, 2013), In Lockheed Martin, the employee internally reported what she believed was mail or wire fraud. When later constructively discharged, she sued for retaliation under SOX. Despite finding the employee failed to prove a “loss of shareholder value” as a result of the alleged fraud, the Tenth Circuit allowed her to maintain her claim under SOX. The Court noted the anti-retaliation provision of SOX applies to any employee complaint regarding violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1343, 1344, or 1348, or any rule or regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission, regardless whether such violations relate to fraud against shareholders.

Undocumented Worker Recovers Work-Comp Benefits

The Supreme Court of New Mexico has held, an employer who did not demand documentation of a prospective employee’s lawful status at the time of hire could not later use the worker’s undocumented status as a defense to paying benefits under the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Act. Gonzales v. Performance Painting, Inc., No. 32,844 (N.M. May 30, 2013),,844.pdf.