Regardless of where a person works in California, he or she has certain rights to be treated fairly and not face retaliation when complaining about a work-related issue. In reality, there are times when an employer will take steps that are not only a violation of the rights of the worker, but are also a violation of state employment law against an unlawful reason for termination. When there has been a wrongful termination, the person who was victimized should make sure to take steps to receive compensation for the wrong that was perpetrated.
A woman who worked at a coffee chain has filed a lawsuit claiming that she was dismissed from her job after complaining that a customer was committing sexual harassment and following her. She alleges that she was wrongfully terminated, retaliated against, harassed, and that the company did not protect her from harassment. The suit says that the woman worked in the store, took orders from customers, made drinks and processed payments. In addition to these duties, the company also wanted her to interact with the customers. Prior to the series of incidents with one particular customer, the worker did not have any extensive critiques as to her work performance.
One customer started making comments about the woman's appearance and stated that he was interested in a relationship with her. She told the man to stop and complained to a supervisor, going so far as to ask for a transfer to another store location. She says that her complaints were dismissed and the customer complained to the company about her and the drinks she made. The harassment from the customer continued and she was fired from the job.
Employees who face harassment should not have to suffer this behavior from co-workers, superiors or customers. If proper procedures are not followed with accompanying protections and the situation goes beyond harassment with the person losing his or her job as a form of retaliation, they have the right to move forward with a legal case. Speaking to an attorney experienced in employment law can help with pursuing a lawsuit.
Source: patch.com, "Starbucks Barista Claims She was Fired for Complaining About Customer's Sexual Harassment," May 2, 2016