When an employer decides to terminate an employee, it can be due to any number of reasons. Many of these reasons are legal, therefore making it perfectly acceptable to end the employee's time working for that employer. However, sometimes the reasons for which an employer terminates an individual is illegal. In these cases, the fired employee may have a cause of action for wrongful termination.
Residents of California may or may not know that it is illegal for any employee to suffer from workplace discrimination. Illegal workplace discrimination is also actionable by lawsuit. It is also illegal for an employee to be fired solely based upon their sexual orientation. A California teacher who lost his job in 2013 believes he was fired based upon a discriminatory reason and has recently filed a lawsuit against his former employer claiming wrongful termination.
In June, a Supreme Court ruling left the door open for gay couples to get married for the first time since 2008. Therefore, this man and his partner were among a wave of gay couples waiting to get married. News of his wedding appeared in a local newspaper, but this should not have been a surprise to his co-workers and students as he was very open about his relationship and the fact that he was gay.
Shortly after the story appeared in the newspaper, a school administrator told the man he was no longer employed at the school despite her feelings that he was an exceptional teacher. The man had spent more than 15 years teaching at the school and was shocked by the news of his termination. He then filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination for the violation of public policy, breach of contract and violation of the state's labor code.
If a resident of California believes he or she has fallen victim to wrongful termination, like the man in this case believes he has, it may be beneficial to consult with an attorney who is experienced in this area of law. Proper legal guidance can help the employee determine whether or not they truly have a cause of action against a former employer.
Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune, "Fired gay Glendora Catholic schoolteacher sues St. Lucy's Priory," March 13, 2014