Law Offices of Louis Spitters

California firefighter files wrongful termination suit

A firefighter has brought a claim against a fire chief and the city after he was terminated. He filed a wrongful termination suit, claiming that he lost $180,000 in pay and other damages. In 2011, the California firefighter was accused of sexual battery of several women, and the following year, he was acquitted of the charges.

At the firefighter’s trial, it was revealed that his inappropriate behavior was due to being slipped the date rape drug. In spite of the acquittal, he was still terminated from his position. Late last year, the firefighter filed a wrongful termination suit, and the department was ordered to re-hire him in a demoted position. Although he got his employment back, he suffered damages, including discrimination and ill-treatment. He believes that he was terminated for a workers’ compensation claim filing and not for anything of a sexual nature.

According to the lawsuit, the firefighter previously reported on-the-job safety challenges and was part of the firefighters union. In addition, he filed complaints about federal and state violations. Also, since he was acquitted of his criminal charges, he should not have been fired in the first place. He allegedly suffered from emotional and financial burdens along with mental distress.

The court will weigh in on who was responsible for the employment entanglement that took place. The firefighter may be awarded the compensation he’s seeking if evidence presented shows that this was wrongful termination due to retaliation intentions for filing workers’ compensation claims and other violations. Many other employees are possibly faced with similar situations, and those who have been wrongfully terminated may have the right to file civil claims in a California courtroom to recoup damages.

Source:, "Redondo firefighter, fired amidst sexual battery charges, sues City, officials", Alyssa Morin, June 5, 2014

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