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Lawsuit alleges wrongful termination after workplace abuse report

Californians in all industries and types of employment rely on labor laws to ensure their safe and productive workplaces. These laws range from sexual harassment protections to restrictions on construction equipment, and they are far more powerful when workers feel they can report violations on the premises. A wrongful dismissal from employment for calling attention to hazards or damage in the workplace is a violation of the California Labor Code.

A fitness instructor in Fresno County recently filed suit against a training center where she was formerly employed, alleging the business retaliated against her in the workplace and before terminating her employment after reporting a possible crime to management.

The complaint states that the fitness instructor was wrongfully terminated from her employment last year, leading to financial stress due to lost income, lost wages and other employment benefits, pecuniary benefits and emotional distress. This was all the result of the instructor's report of elder abuse occurring in the training center, according to the suit.

The fitness instructor seeks trial by jury, reinstatement, compensatory, special and punitive damages, attorney fees and court costs, plus all financial relief deemed proper by the court. This compensation may be authorized by a judge in a California civil court.

Employees who fulfill their duties as workers and citizens by reporting dangerous conditions in the workplace are protected against employers' retaliation, regardless of the result of any investigation into the conditions. A person who believes he or she has been unfairly dismissed or has had a contract unfairly terminated has the right to seek damages through proper legal representation.

Source: Northern California Record, "Fitness instructor accuses training center of wrongful termination," Philip Gonzales, July 26, 2017

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