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California employee compensated for wrongful termination

Times are tough in today’s economy, and people need their jobs more than ever to maintain the lifestyle to which they are accustomed. Job loss can be one of the most devastating and stressful experiences in people’s lives. However, if employment is terminated for the wrong reasons, this may become a case of one door closing and another opening wide. While employers in California can fire their employees at will, people may be entitled to compensation if their termination was the result of unlawful practices.

A former Staples employee has been awarded a record-breaking $26 million after a jury ruled that his employment was wrongfully terminated based on age discrimination. The man began working at Corporate Express in 2002, but Corporate Express was acquired by Staples Inc. in 2008. Allegedly, Staples didn’t want to honor the higher pay scale of Corporate Express employees and was thus seeking to discharge the higher paid employees. After a manager prompted him to resign, the employee refused and faced a steadily increasing barrage of harassment before he was fired in 2011.

Despite positive job reviews, the employee was made fun of for his age and was accused falsely for various things. The 66-year-old man did not take this harassment lying down, and instead chose to battle against the wrongful termination of his employment. Instead of the frightening financial future of unemployment, the former employee is instead being compensated for the company’s wrongdoings.

Age is not the only case in which employees can be wrongfully terminated or discriminated against. If you feel that you are being treated unfairly based on your race, sex or religion, you too may be entitled to compensation. The workplace should be a friendly environment, not a cesspool of negative energy. If you are the victim of sexual harassment or religious discrimination, you don’t have to suffer in silence.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News, "66-year-old man awarded $26 million in age discrimination lawsuit against Staples," Feb. 27, 2014

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