Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

BRIEFLY [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

BRIEFLY [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt


Around 200 to 300 current or former employees of Panera Bread franchisee Covelli Enterprises stand to get payments under a class action lawsuit settlement that won preliminary approval from a federal judge at a hearing today.

The lawsuit brought in U.S. District Court by former Covelli employee Guy Vines, of Castle Shannon, said that the company relegated black employees to back-of-the-store work and denied them promotional opportunities.

Under the settlement, anyone who worked for Covelli's Panera franchises from Jan. 11, 2008, through Jan. 11, 2012, for more than one year, and applied for or wanted a promotion, can get compensation for alleged lost opportunities. For each hour worked after their first year, they can get 70 cents -- roughly what they would have received through a one-level promotion.

Attorney Sam Cordes, who represents Mr. Vines and the class of employees, told U.S. District Chief Judge Gary Lancaster that the settlement terms will soon be published in newspapers in areas in which Covelli franchises operate.

Judge Lancaster gave the settlement his initial nod, though he is expected to hold a hearing on any objections from class members.

Neither Mr. Cordes nor the attorney for Covelli would comment after the hearing. Neither had an estimate of the costs to the firm.

Mr. Vines would get $10,000 and Mr. Cordes $66,000 under the settlement agreement.

Based in Warren, Ohio, Covelli has denied having discriminatory practices and has said in court filings that it is settling to avoid the costs and distractions of defending the case.


Jerry Sandusky will be sentenced for sexually abusing children at a hearing scheduled for Oct. 9.

The former Penn State football coach was convicted in June of 45 of 48 criminal counts against him.

McKean County Senior Judge John M. Cleland issued an order this morning scheduling a hearing to determine if Mr. Sandusky is a sexually violent predator, as well as the sentencing, to be held at the same time.

Mr. Sandusky has been held in the Centre County Correctional Facility since he was found guilty.


Duolingo, an Oakland-based startup founded by Carnegie Mellon University assistant professor of computer science Luis Von Ahn, has raised $15 million from New Enterprise Associates and Union Square Ventures. The funds will go toward hiring and promoting the service internationally.

Duolingo is a free language learning service that uses participants' answers to translate Web pages. Since the service was officially launched in June, it has grown to 250,000 users and now offers English, Spanish, French, German and Portuguese language lessons. Later this year, the company will offer lessons in Italian and Chinese. …

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