Articles Tagged with Orange County wrongful termination

A wrongful termination lawsuit 12 years in the making is finally coming to an end with a settlement of $2.2wrongful termination million for dozens of employees at Santa Barbara News-Press. National Labor Relations Board ruled the newspaper management had bargained with union members in bad faith, and determined the newspaper was responsible for costs and expenses associated with the lawsuit, according to a report from Santa Barbara Independent.

The events began in 2006 after restraints were allegedly placed on the newsroom staff as to how they handled coverage of the news. Six editors and a columnist walked out, while others tried to form a union. Management responded by firing some of the employees who sought to unionize, a clear wrongful termination case and violation of labor law. Continue reading

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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While the Army is preparing dedicated men and women to be brave and strong and defend our country, it does not prepare them for one terrible challenge no one wantsmilitary status discrimination to face: losing their job. Even worse is when military status discrimination is suspected to be the cause of the dismissal.

This brings us to Austin, Texas, home of a nonprofit technology company currently being sued on allegations it wrongfully fired an Army Reservist in 2016 shortly after he returned from fulfilling military obligations as a result of him completing those duties. The U.S. Justice Department, who filed the lawsuit jointly with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, says this is in direct violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. This act, U.S. Code, Chapter 43, Part III, Title 38, states that “a person who … has an obligation to perform service in a uniformed service shall not be denied initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment by an employer on the basis of that membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation.”

The employee was a lieutenant colonel who had served in the Armed Forces for 22 years. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, Austin Division, is seeking an amount equal to lost wages and benefits for plaintiff.

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When a man who refused to give up his seat on a full plane was allegedly rough handled by security and dragged off the plane, the public became enthralled with the story. There were campaigns to boycott the legacy carrier and a seemingly endless supply of memes.  This all came about as a result of the alleged incident being captured by a passenger on his or her smartphone video camera.

AirplaneThese days, it seems there are cameras everywhere.  While there may have been witnesses describing such an event to a news reporter in the past, nothing sparks the public interest and, in this case, outrage more than a video clip of the incident on one’s Facebook feed or on a news organization’s web feed.

This can be used as critical evidence when an employee’s job is on the line. However, it’s important to remember that sometimes clips can be taken out-of-context. That alone doesn’t necessarily mean wrongful termination occurred. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act protects workers from wrongful termination, but California is still an at-will employment state.

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One of the most dearly held rights Americans have is stated in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: The right of free speech.

It allows us to speak our minds without fear of government infringement. microphone

But that’s just the thing: It pertains to government infringement, not infringement by private companies. And what’s more, if the government is the employer, the worker may be limited in what he or she can say without facing termination as well.

The circumstances under which speech may be protected will be based on the kind and purpose of the speech. So for example, if a worker for an airline speaks out about a major safety concern that’s been ignored by company officials, that could be considered protected speech because it is carried out in the interest of public safety. That worker may even have whistleblower protection. However, if that same worker puts the airline CEO on blast on the worker’s social media page, that might not be protected, and the company could have the right to take adverse employment action. Continue reading