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Do I have a potential wrongful termination case?

Discussion in 'Termination: Firing & Resignation' started by LauraSummers, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. LauraSummers

    LauraSummers Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    Hello,

    I was a high performing sales rep of a medical device company. In February, before the covid madness really heated up, I was suddenly fired. No reason was given except for "managerial decision". The only thing I can think of is that the job entailed a lot of travel and I had been in process of trying to buy a house around November/December with my boyfriend (soon to be husband). I don't know if they thought I was going to buy a house, get married, get knocked up and not be as good at my job but the owner had made a comment about he was disappointed to hear I was buying a house in the suburbs and that he thought I should move to LA proper. This was also constantly echoed by my manager. Keep in mind my numbers were better than all of the other outside reps, I was performing very well! I found out they hired someone two days after I was fired that is older with grown children of she has any children at all. A few other things: I also brought their PTO policies to the HR departments attention in that the PTO policies were not legal in CA. They are a multi state company, I was their first California employee so I brought this issue up very gently and respectfully. My boss then proceeds to tell me that they had to hire an attorney for 2k to write up a California addendum. I also brought up the fact that the car allowance was not sufficient to cover the actual miles that were covered in my territory and that normally companies give a by mile rate or a car allowance with a gas card.

    Do you think I have a case or should I just drop it?
     
  2. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    The only thing you've posted that would give you even a marginal case is your telling them that PTO policies were illegal, and even that is such a weak case, if it even is one at all (and I'm by no means sure that it is) that IMO it's not worth bothering with.

    Just out of curiosity, what was illegal about the PTO policies?
     
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  3. LauraSummers

    LauraSummers Law Topic Starter New Member

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    They had a use it or lose it policy in place. California does not allow that policy.
     
  4. LauraSummers

    LauraSummers Law Topic Starter New Member

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    They had a use it or lose it policy in place which from my understanding is not legal in CA
     
  5. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    That they corrected once you told them about it, correct? I doubt that is the reason they terminated you. You may have saved them way more than $2k.

    I don't see a wrongful termination case.
     
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  6. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I agree. IF the termination were in retaliation for the PTO policy complaint, that would be illegal, but it seems unlikely.
     
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  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Here's a couple of "nevers" for you.

    Never tell your employer or coworkers your personal plans.

    Never tell your employer how to run his business.
     
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  8. LauraSummers

    LauraSummers Law Topic Starter New Member

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    thank you for the honesty. I've kind of dropped it but my friend said something about whistleblowing and the timing of my termination was three days after I was supposed to come back from a vacation (that was canceled due to covid19). They interviewed my replacement the day I would have left on my vacation . I agree it would probably be a stretch of a case but thanks again for the input.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  9. LauraSummers

    LauraSummers Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I told my employer what was illegal.

    I'll never... work for a company like this one again. Many messed up things happened there. This was the only slightly illegal thing.
     
  10. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    The problem is you usually don't know about an employer until after you are working there.
     
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  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The Amen Chorus sings: AMEN!
     
  12. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    Considering what our Supreme Court just handed down in an opinion on a civil right act of 1964 title 7 case protecting homosexuals and transgender, I would consult with a civil rights attorney. Of course I'm not suggesting that you are either but the opinion and the cases that were cited included a case where a company would not hire mothers with young children in favor for women with grown children or men with young children.

    And it wouldn't matter if there were other reasons why you may have been fired because if only one reason is a but-for-cause sexual decimation it creates liability for the company.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
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  13. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Actually, it does. Even if a plaintiff can meet his/her initial burden, if the defendant can show that there were legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for the firing, then the defendant will be entitled to summary judgment.

    Also, the type of attorney to consult with is an employment law attorney, not a civil rights attorney.
     
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  14. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    There is zero evidence, other than the OP's assumption, that her family status had anything to do with it. The manager was disappointed in her geographic choice of homes, which is not in any way illegally discriminatory, but there was nothing at all said about her having or not having children. That was entirely in the OP's mind.
     
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  15. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    If you haven't read the opinion then I suggest that you do. Because the but-for-cause transcends all other causes and the employer can't use those causes to avoided liability.
     
  16. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    But that and the company's history is all it takes to file a Title 7 suit . As I already posted, the company cannot use any other cause to defeat a sex discrimination suit under Title 7.

    Read the Supreme Court's opinion. As someone in HR it will make you wonder where the law is going or has already gone.
     
  17. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Welkin, all I can say is, with your mis-understanding of how the discrimination laws work, don't ever try to get a job in HR.

    How about you post a link to either the California or the Federal law that makes children/no children a protected characteristic.

    How about you post any actual evidence provided in the OP's posts that support her contention as to what she was fired for.

    And don't assume what cases I have read and not read.
     
  18. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf

    Now let that sink in. When the Supreme Court interprets a law I don't need to cite another law to satisfy your blowing smoke. The point is that an employer cannot use any other factor to justify the denial or termination of employment in a Title 7 case.

    If you read this case:

    Phillips v. Martin Marietta Corp., 400 US 542 - Supreme Court 1971 - Google Scholar

    and you then read the recent Supreme Court Case linked to above you may actually learn something.
     
  19. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I'm still waiting for the Federal or California law that makes having or not having children a protected category, even if we assume that this was the reason for the termination (and there is no evidence of it in the post).

    If it's not a protected category, then your entire argument fails on its face.

    So, where's the law protecting children/no children?
     
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  20. LauraSummers

    LauraSummers Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Isn’t marital status protected in California? Can’t be discriminated against for being divorced, single, married etc. forgive me if I’m incorrect here. I’m clearly not a legal expert.
     

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