California wrongful termination suit reaches settlement

A woman who previously worked as a social worker filed suit against her former employer. The California social worker claimed that her job loss was the result of a wrongful termination. The case was originally dismissed, but the employer and the woman have since entered into a settlement for an undisclosed amount.

The woman made a complaint back in 2012 that a patient was threatening to kill her. The woman asked her employer to protect her by obtaining a restraining order against the patient. She asked for a period of months, but the company declined to do so. Instead, the company's managers allegedly committed workplace retaliation when they made unnecessary disciplinary actions and false allegations against her. In addition, the company eventually terminated her from her job position.

She previously sued for whistleblower claims, which were dismissed, but she was still able to pursue a discrimination and wrongful termination claim. The former employer and the woman reportedly reached a settlement agreement of those remaining claims. No other details regarding the settlement were released.

It is unlawful for California employers to terminate someone as a retaliatory act, and here, the worker only sought to protect herself from a patient who apparently made threats against her in the workplace. Retaliation is unlawful and can put a worker, and those who depend on them, in financial hardship. As with this case, some of these matters may be settled without going to trial. If the matter is not settled, employees have the right to pursue wrongful termination claims against the employers who allegedly violated their rights. The civil court system may award damages if the evidence establishes that the employer is liable for the wrongs alleged.

Source: Courthouse News Service, Kaiser Settles Former Social Worker's Lawsuit, Barbara Wallace, March 19, 2014

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