In California, reporting misconduct in the workplace should not lead to employment termination. When employees fear retaliatory actions for voicing their concerns, a hostile work environment can be created. On October 20 of this year, an ex-bank executive filed a lawsuit on the grounds that he had been the victim of a wrongful termination because of his reporting misconduct on a former city manager.
The ex-banker was formerly employed by First Foundation Bank in La Quinta. He filed his wrongful termination lawsuit against his former employer after being fired because he had questioned officials during an Indian Wells City Council meeting in August. In that meeting, he had raised questions concerning a former Indian Wells City Manager’s compensation.
Not long after the meeting, the city manager sent emails and made calls to the victim’s employer, specifically the CEO of First Foundation Bank. The city manager resigned not long after the meeting. He has since made a public apology for his comments in those emails. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
Employees have a right to voice their concerns without fear of retaliatory discharge for doing so. In California, wrongful termination claim(s) are taken seriously, as this case illustrates.
If an employee feels that he or she is being discriminated against for any reason, their best option may be to contact an attorney who is knowledgeable of the state and federal employment laws. A consultation with an attorney may reveal what avenues of redress the employee has available. It may also provide guidance as to how to move forward in addressing the issue.
Source: The KPSP Local 2 News, “Fired Banker Files Wrongful Termination Lawsuit,” Oct. 21, 2011