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.
The problems date back to 2011 when the plaintiff went on medical leave following back surgery. He says that complications during his recovery extended his leave. When he was ready to return to work, his physician restricted the work he could do. The plaintiff says that the city allegedly told him they would be unable to accommodate those restrictions and that he could retire. He alleges that in an effort to get him to leave, Burbank officials, among other thing, "shunned him in daily activities" and "refused to involve him in various projects."
Representatives for the city have denied the plaintiff's allegations. They also say that the former employee "failed to report or complain about the alleged unlawful conduct." The city also disputes the fact that the plaintiff was "injured or damaged in any way."
Another claim by the plaintiff is that he was not allowed to take computer classes that would have helped him in his job. According to the suit, his manager preferred to bring in "younger, computer-literate people" rather than let older workers have computer training.
Many people who have experienced discrimination or harassment in the workplace are intimidated by the significant financial and legal resources that their employer can use to fight them. However, anyone who has been treated or terminated in a manner that is illegal has every right to take legal action. California employment attorneys are versed in both federal and state employment regulations, and can help plaintiffs obtain justice against an employer that has acted illegally.
Source: The Burbank Leader, "Burbank fights against termination lawsuit filed by former city employee" Alene Tchekmedyian, Dec. 31, 2013