Workers who have been wrongfully terminated may have legal options to consider that may help during a difficult time. A former vice president for actress Kate Hudson's athletic wear company recently brought a lawsuit in Los Angeles against the company for wrongful termination. The woman asserts she was fired while on medical leave to treat an addiction to Ambien because the actress's company likely mistakenly concluded she was being treated for an addiction to illegal drugs. The former vice president is also suing the athletic wear company's parent company.
In her claim, the woman asserts that after being promoted to vice president she was prescribed Ambien to sleep at night because of the stress of the position. She took an immediate leave of absence, at the time expected to be 6 weeks, for medical disability. Her doctor subsequently extended the period of time she needed to be on leave and she began receiving texts at that time from other executives asking about her condition and treatment. The other executives then researched her treating physician's specialty and erroneously concluded she was being treated for addiction-related issues likely assumed to be related to illegal drug use. The lawsuit asserts the company did not seek to verify the reason for her medical leave.
After 6 weeks of leave, the woman was terminated on her first day back to work. The woman brought a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination, disability discrimination, retaliation, failure to accommodate, failure to grant medical leave and other claims. She is seeking a variety of damages, including punitive damages. There are a variety of protections for workers who have been wrongfully terminated discriminate against.
Because remedies are specific to the unique circumstances of each situation, it is helpful for workers who have been wrongfully terminated to have proper guidance to help them through the process. It is important for workers to understand their rights in the workplace and how to enforce those rights if they have been violated.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Kate Hudson's Fashion Company Exec Sues for Wrongful Termination," Ashley Cullins, Oct. 17, 2016