When an employee is fired, there is usually an identifiable cause for the termination. However, if the fired worker does not agree with the reasons for termination, the dispute can result in litigation. Los Angeles readers might be interested in a wrongful termination case that pits a man with a lengthy career against a California county.
A man claims he was terminated from his position as a manager because he sought a lighter workload. The man is currently battling cancer. The county, however, claims that the man committed a misdemeanor offense by including initials in his name that gave him credentials he did not actually have. The man used “PE,” which stands for Professional Engineer, in his title while he worked in California, although the credential only applied in Washington State. This could have allegedly caused legal issues for the county.
When the man was fired, he appealed his termination to the Civil Service Commission. The commission sided with the man, stating that although he was mistaken in assuming he could use the initials, the issue was not as dire as the county claimed it to be. The commission ruled that the man should be reinstated in his position and made whole. However, the county has refused to reinstate the man and has also filed a suit against the commission stating they overstepped their boundaries in hearing the appeal.
A terminated employee has a right to inquire about the reasons for termination. If there is a dispute, or if they feel that the firing exemplified discrimination or retaliation for another issue, seeking guidance from an experienced professional can help determine if legal action could be beneficial.
Source: Santa Barbara Independent, “Jail Manager Fired for Cancer or Just Cause?” Tyler Hayden, Apr. 29, 2014