This blog recently discussed obligations employers have to pregnant employees. In a recent lawsuit, a California woman asserts that she was wrongfully terminated following her request for maternity leave. The woman brought the lawsuit against her former large corporate employer, a technology company, and others asserting wrongful discharge, violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act and additional wrongdoing. The woman asserts in her claim that she informed her employer in February that she was pregnant, requesting maternity leave in July.
The woman further asserts in her claim that in March she was given two weeks' notice and that her employer claimed that she was being terminated due to budget concerns and a lack of business growth. The woman asserts she was terminated because of her pregnancy. She also asserts that she was not properly paid overtime wages for hours she worked over 40 hours per week. The woman is seeking damages including wages, salary, employment benefits, pension benefits and additional lost compensation, as well as additional damages including unpaid overtime compensation and statutory penalties.
Workers have a number of important rights and protections they should be familiar with. Wrongful termination can occur in circumstances of unlawful firing. Firing may be unlawful if it violates a federal or state anti-discrimination law; if it is a form of sexual harassment; if it is in violation of labor laws; if it is in violation of an employment agreement; or if it is in retaliation for the employee making a claim against the employer.
Different penalties may apply for employers who wrongfully terminate an employee and different remedies may be available for employees who have been unlawfully terminated. When an employer has violated the rights of an employee, it is important that the employee understand those rights and how to enforce them.
Source: Northern California Record, "Woman alleges wrongful termination by Cisco Systems, Elite Office Staff," Wadi Reformado, June 27, 2016