Law Offices of Louis Spitters

Former California CarMax worker files wrongful termination suit

The loss of a job position for any reason can put a worker and their family in financial and emotional distress. When this happens, California workers are usually forced to find another avenue of employment or file for unemployment just to pay the bills. If a worker feels they were wrongfully discharged, however, they could have legal options available to pursue. A company called CarMax is faced with a wrongful termination lawsuit from one of its former employees.

An employee previously started working for CarMax as a service manager back in 2006. As of 2011, the company terminated the employee and stated that the reasons were for unsatisfactory performance. However, the employee claims that he was terminated because he revealed pertinent safety issues. He initiated a lawsuit against CarMax citing Labor Code violations and breach of implied contract. He also claimed that he was wrongfully terminated.

CarMax filed a response to the allegations and requested arbitration and the enforcement of a dispute resolution agreement. Initially, the court denied CarMax's request due to the agreement being outrageous. The case was taken to the Court of Appeals, which disagreed with the trial court's determination. It also agreed that CarMax and the employee are to settle their differences through arbitration.

Being employed is a means for most California workers to pay their bills and put food on the table, especially in households that live paycheck to paycheck. Terminating someone for poor performance is understandable, but it is unlawful to terminate someone because a worker raised certain safety or legal issues. Workers who were terminated out of retaliation have the right to file civil claims against the employers. Wrongful termination claims may be appropriate remedies to obtain much-needed financial relief.

Source: Lexology, "California court gives the green light for arbitration of wrongful termination suit", Ogletree Deakins, Ameneh K. Ernst, April 16, 2014

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