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Former manager wins nearly $8 million for wrongful termination

Workers of all kinds and industries can measure their progress in the new laws that protect their rights in the workplace. California leads the nation in protections for office employees, onsite contractors and even freelancers.

Many of these laws are vital because they make it harder to terminate an employee's contract without proper cause. In general, people are dismissed from their jobs because they have failed to fulfill their job description or behaved improperly as an employee.

A Fresno jury has awarded nearly $8 million to a former general manager at a local branch of a national restaurant chain. The original suit claimed wrongful termination and retaliatory behavior by supervisors.

The manager was fired upon being accused of theft, but the employer could not provide any evidence and said that evidence had been destroyed. The jury ruled that she was the victim of managers cooperating to ruin her reputation.

The apparent reason for the scheme was a workers' compensation claim after the manager was injured on the job. She filed a claim for treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome shortly before the efforts began.

Compensatory damages cover the plaintiff's lost income since the termination and future earnings if she had stayed at the company. The jury must still decide an amount of punitive damages for the plaintiff. These payments often deter violations of workplace law in the future.

Victims of employment law violations may have a case in civil court for financial damages. An attorney may help victims and their loved ones prepare a successful case for settlement, mediation or a jury verdict.

Source: Fresno Bee, "Fresno jury says Chipotle owes former manager $7.97 million for wrongful termination," Pablo Lopez, May 10, 2018

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