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Lawsuit against California city alleges wrongful termination

Workplaces do well when their workers are careful, vigilant and ready to report suspicious conditions. California law protects people who feel the need to share problems in the workplace from retaliation or punishment for trying to keep a business or organization honest and safe.

A former employee of a California city is suing its city council for wrongful termination. She claims that she was fired from her last position with the city government after informing officials about administrator's use of city equipment, labor and land for personal benefit.

The woman and her former supervisor were both dismissed from the positions with the city in 2017 after an independent investigation of their department. The city attorney initially dismissed her claims of wrongful termination and released a statement saying the office expected a civil lawsuit.

The new case relies on the Golden State's whistleblower laws, which protect employees from dismissal because they refuse to break a law or fail to report a violation. The suit states the former employee was fired due to "disclosure of multiple violations of law by City officials and employees."

The woman claims that other city employees used city cars for personal trips, approved payment for fictional work, recruited city workers to work on personal property on city time and sexually inappropriate behavior around city employees.

People dismissed for raising the alarm on bad work activities may have a case for wrongful termination, which can lead to financial damages or reinstatement to undo damage to a person's career. An attorney can help former employees assemble a case and press for settlement, trial by jury or other legal way to make a person whole.

Source: Del Mar Times, "New claim filed against Del Mar in lifeguard case," Phil Diehl, March 03, 2018

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