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.

According to the wrongful termination suit, the head of the nonprofit company was abusive to the plaintiff, other employees and volunteers. He would allegedly appear to be intoxicated at work and steal food, money and donations. The same allegations were brought forth in a restraining order the former employee filed on Dec. 12, the same day she was supposedly terminated. Her application for the order was denied.

The CEO of the nonprofit, which caters to both transient and local residents of the greater Barstow area, reportedly denied the accusations. Though records indicate the defendant has a history of driving under the influence, he is not currently under investigation, according to the Barstow Police Department.

While the day of the plaintiff’s termination and the day of her filing a restraining order against her former boss may just be coincidence, California labor laws disallow employers from firing employees as a way of retaliation. The story outlined above does not summarize the nonprofit CEO’s reasoning or explanation for his ex-employee’s termination.

Employers who fail to fulfill employment contracts, violate employee rights or neglect to follow appropriate termination procedures may be liable for lost earnings and damages. An attorney may have extensive knowledge to determine whether an employee has been terminated unlawfully.

Source: Daily Press, “Wrongful termination suit heads to conference“, Mike Lamb, August 16, 2014