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TV actress argues wrongful termination

Sacramento-area employees working at some of society's more traditional jobs are not the only ones that can be subjected to harassment, retaliation and even wrongful termination. Celebrities can face these outlawed practices as well.

One such case involves actress Nicollette Sheridan, who formerly appeared on the hit television show "Desperate Housewives." Sheridan is in the spotlight as she works through litigation that accuses the show's producers of wrongfully firing her for complaining about a mild assault she received at the hands of the show's creator.

One day during rehearsal in 2008, the actress argued that the shows creator slapped her on the head. She complained about the incident, and that is when she said clear signs of retaliation occurred.

After appearing on five seasons of the show, which airs on ABC, Sheridan's character was not included in the show for a matter of months once she complained about the incident. Her character was eventually written off the show for good.

Sheridan argued it was a retaliatory effort, because in 2007 the show's producers told her that her character would be included on the show until it ended, which it is slated to do later this year. However, a lawyer for the show's creator said that producers were planning on writing the character off the show even before the alleged slapping incident happened.

The actress filed the lawsuit for wrongful termination and also battery in April 2010. The show's creator and Touchstone Television Productions were identified as defendants in the suit. In the recent trial, Sheridan recalled the incident where the show's creator knocked her upside the head, while his lawyers retain it was a simple tap. The actress explained how she returned to her trailer after the incident, and the show's creator joined her later to acknowledge and apologize for the incident.

Many of Sheridan's cast mates, who are still on the show, are expected to testify in the ongoing trial.

Source: Bangkok Post, "'Desperate Housewives' star claims unfair dismissal," March 3, 2012

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