Employee Sues County for Wrongful Termination, Alleging That It Fired Her in Retaliation for Discrimination Complaint
Employment discrimination lawyers have noticed a pattern in the cases about which clients consult them. Many times, the general lack of welcome with which co-workers receive them is not what sets off alarms in the minds of employees. Instead, the tipping point is the hostile response that the employee receives when he or she notifies supervisors about misconduct or wrongdoing in the workplace. It is as if, even though employers might grudgingly tolerate you on a personal level, they cannot stand it when you acknowledge their shortcomings. This is what happened to a county employee who was recruited from a large city in California to overhaul outdated hiring practices and discovered that the dysfunction was much more widespread than she had realized when she accepted the job. From the machetes on the wall of government offices to the questionable credentials, she knew something was not right, but her objections were met with demotion and eventually termination of employment. A Los Angeles retaliation lawyer can help you if your employer demoted you or fired you because you complained about discrimination in your workplace.
County Abruptly Terminated Human Resources Director
The lawsuit describes the plaintiff as an “African American female above the age of 40” and a “military veteran.” Her complaint stems not from treatment she received based on her own protected characteristics, but rather her efforts to report and prevent discrimination against other employees of the county. She began working as a human resources director for a rural county in California in 2018.
The county’s Chief Administration Officer (CAO) was hostile to the plaintiff almost as soon as she was hired, but the plaintiff had a good relationship with her own personal secretary, who had worked for the county for decades and was nearly 80 years old. The CAO kept pressuring the plaintiff to fire the secretary, but she refused, since this would be age discrimination. Likewise, the county was in the midst of an investigation into a discrimination complaint by an attorney who had worked for the county. The attorney alleged that his coworkers had harassed him throughout his employment because he is Jewish and that sexist behavior was prevalent enough in his work environment that, if female employees had complained about sex discrimination, he would have corroborated their claims. The plaintiff had a long conversation with the attorney to hear his side of the story, after which the CAO warned her not to engage with him, as he was only trying to make trouble.
Finally, when the plaintiff hired a Black woman, the CAO insinuated that the plaintiff must have known the new employee personally. The plaintiff pointed out that the new employee had lived in the county for her entire career, whereas the plaintiff had only recently moved there. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff was fired. The EEOC authorized her to file a lawsuit in October 2020. Her case eventually settled, and the plaintiff received $500,000 in compensation.
Speak With a Los Angeles Employer Retaliation Lawyer
A Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer can help you if your employer retaliated against you when you tried to protect other employees in your workplace from discrimination. Contact Obagi Law Group, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call 424-284-2401.