For nearly 20 years, a handyman and his wife were employed by William Shatner and his wife to perform household repairs, chores and other duties at the couple's home in California. However, when the handyman suffered a workplace injury at Shatner's home, he claims that Shatner and his wife began to harass him.
After enduring harassment and discrimination on the job, the man and his wife were fired. It was reported this week that the former employees are now suing Shatner and his wife for wrongful termination in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The couple is requesting damages for the hardship they have been put through.
When an employee is injured in a workplace accident, folks might assume that employers will be sympathetic to the employee's needs. However, the handyman claims that Shatner tried to force the man to sign a waiver after he became injured on the celebrity's property. The handyman slipped and fell, injuring his back.
According to the lawsuit, Shatner wanted the employee to waive his rights to seek additional compensation for his back injuries beyond what Shatner had offered to pay. The man reviewed the waiver and determined that his employer was not offering enough money to cover all of his medical expenses resulting from the workplace accident. When the man refused to sign the waiver, Shatner and his wife began to retaliate against the man and his wife, who was a housekeeper.
Retaliation included harassment and discrimination, the couple claims. The handyman says that Shatner yelled at him for not agreeing to the liability waiver. Eventually, the couple was fired.
Workers should not have to fear losing their jobs after suffering an injury in the workplace or for refusing to sign something that does not appear to be a lawful request. When workers are fired in retaliation for not doing something they are not legally obligated to do or for raising concerns about unlawful activity in the workplace, folks may want to consult an attorney in order to determine whether their employers violated any employment laws.
If an employee is wrongfully terminated, the employee may be able to get his or her job back in addition to receiving compensation for damages and lost wages.
Source: Courthouse News Service, "William Shatner Accused of Harassing Handyman," Matt Reynolds, Sept. 5, 2012