Teachers Allege Wrongful Termination After They Reported Unsafe Conditions At School
Sometimes a small private school can be an ideal environment for learning. It is easier for the teachers to get to know all the students and their families, thereby building a sense of community. Even though members of the school community may be on more familiar terms with each other than in bigger schools, even the smallest schools must adhere to legal standards of safety and professionalism. These include certain staffing requirements, among other safety measures. Likewise, teachers in private schools have a right to fair pay, just as they do in public schools. Employees in every sector have the right to report misconduct and legal violations they observe in their workplace; this is a legally protected activity, so firing an employee over it amounts to employer retaliation. A Los Angeles retaliation lawyer can represent teachers who lost their jobs after speaking up about misconduct or legal violations in their schools.
Plaintiffs Expressed Concern Over School’s Lack of Nurse and Janitorial Staff
The plaintiffs are two teachers who were formerly employed at a private school in Los Angeles County; the school serves students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The first plaintiff began working at the school in November 2022, first as a substitute teacher and then as a full-time third grade teacher. The second plaintiff was hired in January 2023, and taught fifth grade. Both plaintiffs are Black women.
Throughout their tenure at the school, the plaintiffs noticed many practices at the school that they described as “unlawful or unsafe.” For example, the school did not have a school nurse or a janitorial staff. They also expressed concern about the school’s lack of security precautions and its ad hoc approach to student discipline. When they voiced these concerns to school administrators, the administrators accused them of being confrontational, a reaction the plaintiffs say was racially motivated.
Except for expressing their annoyance at the plaintiffs’ attention to the substandard conditions at the school, the administration did little to address the problems. Meanwhile, the school routinely paid teachers late and in amounts lower than it had agreed to pay them. In March 2023, the school terminated the plaintiffs’ employment, effective immediately, without citing a reason.
The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County in April 2023. They allege wrongful termination of employment, retaliation, and racial discrimination. In addition to naming the school, they have also named as a defendant the school’s owner, who is also a public figure for reasons unrelated to the school. Regardless of the outcome of the case, California’s Silenced No More Act protects former employees from attempts by their former employees to prevent them from speaking publicly about discrimination they experienced at work.
Speak With a Los Angeles Employer Retaliation Lawyer
A Los Angeles employer retaliation lawyer can help you exercise your right to speak out about unsafe conditions and other misconduct at your workplace. Contact Obagi Law Group, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call 424-284-2401.