Former employees file wrongful termination against state official

After every election, if an incumbent has been ousted, there are likely many changes made in the old administration. However, while newly elected officials may prefer to make personnel changes, there are times when these decisions may result in a wrongful termination claim. There may be many California workers who lost long-term positions based on a seemingly personal agenda.

In January, when a newly elected secretary of state made the decision to downsize the number of employees under him, many believed it was a cost-saving measure at first. However, purportedly, shortly after 16 workers were terminated, 22 more were added to the payroll. Based on those new hires, 10 of 16 employees who were dismissed have now filed a wrongful termination suit against this public office.

The suit alleges that the defendant fired the employees based on political agendas. The majority of the workers who were dismissed were purportedly affiliated with the opposing political party. Furthermore, the vast majority of the new hires shared the same political party as the newly elected official. An attorney who is representing the 10 former employees stated that even at-will workers have protections in place that prevent a termination based solely on politics.

Along with the allegation that the dismissals were politically motivated, the suit alleges that gender, age and race factors were also behind the purportedly invalid firings and have been included in the civil case. Not all of the fired employees have joined the suit in part because a few have found other positions, and a few who held management positions were not afforded the same protections under the laws. Whenever California employees believe that they have been victims of a wrongful termination, they are also assured the right to seek a remedy through the civil courts under the state's employment laws that are meant to ensure a fair and equitable workplace environment. 

Source: register-herald.com, "Former employees file wrongful termination suits against Secretary of State's Office", Wendy Holdren, Aug. 9, 2017

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