Articles Tagged with California wrongful termination

It’s always unfortunate when the trust between an employer and employee is broken. We see it every day in our line of wrongful terminationwork, defending employees whose rights have been violated on the job. It’s doubly hard when an employer chooses to lash out against those who take legal action to protect their rights. The good news is this kind of retaliation is not legal and you are not without options to fight back.

We saw this recently, in Orange County, where the executive assistant of county supervisor Todd Spitzer is suing him for a second time, alleging defamation that followed a wrongful termination in 2016. According to The Orange County Register, the wrongful termination lawsuit was settled last year. Now, plaintiff says her former boss told reporters and other third parties her firing was the result of incompetence, rather than a wage and hour dispute. He further allegedly told these others she refused to take necessary computer classes and implied she could not complete basic computer tasks.

Plaintiff said not only were those statements false, but they are now hurting her ability to find new employment. This spurred the second filing in Superior Court of California, County of Orange. At the time these alleged statements were made, plaintiff says she had already completed several computer classes on her own accord. The lawsuit alleges she even requested an additional computer class, a request which Spitzer rejected shortly before letting her go. It’s worth noting plaintiff worked for the county supervisor for three years by the time of her firing. It would seem one would not survive long in that role absent basic computer knowledge.

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Even within organizations whose mission is to protect the rights of others, it is possible for questionable practices that infringe on rights to taint the reputation and wrongful terminationculture of the group. San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride has been caught up in accusations and internal tensions since the dismissal of its executive director in August 2016. Now the former employee is suing the group for wrongful termination as well as age discrimination and defamation of character.

The former executive director recently filed the lawsuit in Superior Court of California, County of San Diego claiming his firing by the group’s board was personal and not based on performance or any sort of wrongdoing, according to a report from San Diego Reader. In fact, other group members and staffers were so incensed by the dismissal they demanded plaintiff be reinstated, protesting the decision at one of the organization’s monthly meetings shortly after the firing.

Particularly noteworthy to those who defended plaintiff at the time of the dismissal was the booming success of San Diego Pride under his leadership. Many credit him for the record-breaking year the group had in 2016, according to NBC San Diego, including an influx of grants and popular events. He was seen as a rising star in the organization since he joined in 2013, first as an independent contractor, quickly escalating to general manager and then executive director the next year. The board remained vague on the sudden dismissal, citing a desire to “go in a different direction,” causing more unrest among group members upset over the lack of transparency. Continue reading

A woman who practices Catholicism says she was wrongfully terminated from her job at a bottled water company in Nevada because she refused to convert to Scientology.holybible

The employment lawsuit asserting religious discrimination alleges the worker was under pressure to watch pro-Scientology videos and was turned down for a pay raise when she did not show interest in switching faiths.

Based in Las Vegas, the company, Real Alkalized Water (also known as AffinityLifestyles.com) is owned by Nevada state Assemblyman Brent Jones, a Republican. His son, who is vying for an open state Assembly seat in the November election, is the executive vice president of the firm.  Continue reading

According to a recent news article from HR.BLR.com, an employee was driving his personal vehicle when he was arrested and charged with drunk driving in California. At the time of his arrest, he was working for a major insurance carrier as a claims handler.

pintTwo weeks after his arrest, employer told him he needed to answer a series of questions, and he would face termination if he refused to answer these questions. He disclosed the details of his arrest. He was given a probationary sentence, where, if he were to abide by all terms of the court and prosecutors, they would dismiss his probation in two years. This is a fairly standard deal for first-time DUI offenders in California. Continue reading

Earlier this fall, the University of Southern California made headlines when they fired highly successful head football coach Steve Sarkisian. Sarkisian, while successful on the sidelines, was having serious problems in his life, which included his battle with alcoholism. He not only admitted to being an alcoholic, but it is the basis for his recently filed wrongful termination lawsuit after he lost his job as Trojans head coach.

kitchen-1484790According to a recent news article from the Pacific Standard, people started becoming concerned about the health and wellbeing of the head coach, and this only become worse when he allegedly missed a practice in October of this year.   He was then alleged to have shown up to a team booster and preseason game clearly intoxicated. He was fired shortly after this incident. Continue reading

Many employees are injured on the job and choose not to report their injuries to their employers out of fear that the employer will fire them if they request workers’ compensation. This is especially true with respect to many of the immigrant laborers living and working in the greater Los Angeles area. Unfortunately, many employers will routinely mistreat employees, because they think it will increase production, and they are not worried about the employee reporting them for a breach of the labor code of laws.

hospital-1385736-mIn Kingsaire, Inc. v. Melendez, an appeal from the Supreme Court of Texas, plaintiff filed a lawsuit against defendant on grounds that, when he was terminated, it was in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Defendant had family-owned heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) business and hired plaintiff to work as a helper tradesmen in 2004. Plaintiff was responsible for welding frames on refrigeration units. Continue reading

Casey v. Dep’t of Defense, a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, involved an employee filing what is known as a Bivens action. This term comes from the 1971 cased entitled Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents. In its holding, the United Stated Supreme Court ultimately ruled that there is an implied cause of action for persons whose Forth Amendment rights have been violated. Bivens was later expended through subsequent case holdings to incorporate more rights as outlined in the Bill of Rights.

bloodpressure1In Casey, plaintiff was a contractor working for an agency under the United States Department of Defense. She was working in the capacity of a civil contractor and was not an employee on the Government Schedule (GS) or a member of the United States Military. Specifically, she was a nurse coordinator with the Civilian Health Promotion Services Program at an Air Force base in Massachusetts. Continue reading

Getting fired from a job is never a good thing. Not only are you out of a job, but you now also may have trouble getting a job in the future, because many job applications ask if you have ever been terminated from any employment position in the past. Even if you were not terminated but subject to formal discipline at your past job, you may have to report that on a new application.

gavel7According to a recent news article form the Sacramento Bee, those applying for state jobs in California may no longer have to report past discipline on job applications and would be eligible to reapply for other state positions without disclosing past discipline, under a proposed piece of legislation. The new bill is entitled Assembly bill AB 466 and is currently being pushed forward with support of various public employee unions. The bill would allow state employees who are fired from their jobs and had agreed to never seek employment with a particular agency to apply for state employment in the future and not have to disclose the disciplinary settlement on the application. Continue reading

A former high school football coach in Southern California who was wrongly terminated for blowing the whistle on a sexual hazing scandal at a Catholic school will receive nearly $5 million in damages. coach1

Jurors decided with the coach in his lawsuit and awarded him $900,000 in compensatory damages, and gave authorization for punitive damages. Jurors were set to debate how much those damages should be when the diocese offered $4 million to settle those claims.

The coach alleged he was wrongfully fired, retaliated against and then defamed after he reported hazing at the high school in December 2012.