California residents may not know that they live in one of very few states with laws that protect unpaid interns from sexual harassment. In the vast majority of states, there is no protection for unpaid interns because they are not considered employees. As a result, few of those interns complain about sexual harassment because they fear retaliation. Women, who are already disproportionately affected by sexual harassment, also account for about 75 percent of unpaid interns.
On May 5, a woman in California filed a lawsuit against her former employer after she says that she was fired for refusing to be tracked by a smartphone app while she was off duty. According to the plaintiff, she was fired shortly after she had objected to being monitored by the app around the clock. She is seeking $500,000 in damages for unfair business practices, invasion of privacy, retaliation and wrongful termination.
Intermex is being sued by a former California employee who accuses the electronic money transfer company of firing her for refusing to use a phone app that invaded her privacy. She is seeking $500,000 in damages.
The U.S. Magistrate in San Diego Federal Court called the jury award of $186 million to a woman who accused AutoZone Inc of wrongful termination record breaking in the annals of U.S. employment discrimination cases. The jury reached its verdict after deliberating for under two days after an eight-day trial. Damages awarded to the 43-year-old woman were $870,000 plus $185 million to punish her employer.
Los Angeles employees may be interested in some information about a settlement in a wrongful termination lawsuit against the City of Newport Beach. The lawsuit had already begun when the parties agreed to dismiss the claim in exchange for a cash settlement.
A complaint was filed on Oct. 9 by a former city manager in California who claims that he was fired for investigating suspected illegal activities by city officials. According to the plaintiff, he was wrongfully discharged from his position because members of the city council in Colton wanted to cover up issues that he was investigating, including the misappropriation of public funds.
The state labor commissioner determined that a Berkeley parking contractor fired an employee because of verbal complaints about his working conditions, which is not a legal justification for termination. The company was ordered to pay the former employee $1,517.94 for lost wages. This comes after a 2013 ruling from the state Division of Labor Standards Enforcement awarded the same employee $3000 for denied rest breaks and unpaid wages. The man also brought a violation of the living-wage ordinance to the city's attention, but the city found that the company did not owe him any wages.
The president and CEO of a nonprofit center of services for homeless and low-income men, women and children in California was sued for wrongful termination by his administrative assistant on Feb. 25 in San Bernardino County Superior Court. The former employee sought compensatory damages, attorney fees, cost of suit, exemplary punitive damages according to proof and any other reparations the court may determine to be appropriate for her circumstance in a trial-setting conference on Tuesday, Aug. 19.
A retired naval officer and former worker for Systems Application and Technologies Inc., a military contractor, is suing the company for retaliation. In the California filing, the man claims that his supervisor fired him when he refused to work off the clock for a weekend.
A former employee of the City of Burbank is suing the city, claiming that he was pushed out of his job because of his age after he took a medical leave of absence following back surgery. The 61-year-old plaintiff contends in his wrongful termination action that the city discriminates against employees who are over 40. He also claims that he suffered retaliation after he took his complaint of discrimination to California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing.