If an employer in California attempts to head off discrimination complaints by insisting that an employee sign away the right to file a complaint, then the courts might view the act as anticipatory retaliation. The recent case of a former employee of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs illustrates the legal theory that describes the adverse action of an employer meant to prevent people from engaging in legal activities.
A jury in California awarded a man roughly $18 million in damages after finding that he had been wrongfully terminated. The 55-year-old had worked for Allstate Insurance for 30 years when he was let go months after being taken into custody by police. The incident occurred when his girlfriend wouldn't allow him to enter her home during a domestic dispute. He was originally charged with two counts of domestic violence as well as one count of drug paraphernalia possession.
California pro football fans may have heard of Erin Henderson. He was on the New York Jets roster until he was released in February after the team declined to pick up his option for 2017. The option would have been worth $2.25 million. Henderson claims that he was wrongfully terminated and was discriminated against because of a disability. In a lawsuit, he seeks $3.3 million in compensatory damages in addition to punitive damages.
California employees who are in fear of losing their jobs after reporting potential risks may be interested to learn that a former Amtrak employee was awarded a nearly $900,000 settlement in that type of a case. The agent had raised concerns in October 2010 about the work an Amtrak contractor was completing as the contractor had been convicted for fraud in New York.
On Jan. 6, it was reported that a California judge ordered the founder of Bikram yoga to turn over proceeds from his business to his former legal adviser. The adviser won a $6.8 million judgement against him last year after winning a wrongful termination and sexual harassment lawsuit in 2016.
Can an employer require me to work full-time even though I only agreed to part-time and have been working part-time since my employment began?
California employees who have valid grievances with their employers may feel pressure to quickly settle their cases for far less than they might receive through litigation. This often happens when there is a disparity between the financial abilities of the respective parties to handle the expense of a protracted courtroom battle. Litigation funding may provide an option that could help employees with strong cases to pursue their matters fully.
On May 16, a wrongful termination lawsuit was filed in a California court against the global CEO of RAPP. The Omnicom ad agency CEO, who joined the company in 2014, is accused of firing the former president of RAPP USA for complaining about harassment and discrimination that he witnessed.
On March 18, a jury in California awarded $2.3 million in damages to a firefighter who claimed that he was wrongfully terminated for refusing to lie to the state's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The jury arrived at its verdict after a nine-week long trial in which dozens of other firefighters testified on the plaintiff's behalf.
Employees who have been recently fired or who are facing a job loss may wonder if they have a claim for wrongful termination. To prevail in a wrongful termination case, a person must prove that they were fired for an illegal reason. There are many reasons that a termination may violate California or federal employment laws.