Husband and wife settle wrongful termination lawsuit against city

| Feb 3, 2015 | Wrongful Termination |

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.

Two Newport Beach city employees, a husband and wife, claimed wrongful termination after they were fired from their positions in 2012. The husband, a police officer, said that he was fired as retaliation for union involvement and testifying against the department in a discrimination trial that cost the city $700,000 in 2009. The official reason for his termination, according to reports, was viewing pornography at work. The wife, a police dispatcher, claimed to have been terminated as a result of her husband’s issues and because of symptoms stemming from her PTSD condition.

The city’s insurance carrier has settled with the couple for a sum of $500,000. A spokesperson from the city says that he would have rather seen the jury trial play out. He believes that the city did not yet present its evidence which would have shown its side of the issue. An attorney for the city claims that there was evidence of misuse of official email and inappropriate behavior on the part of the wife, in addition to the husband’s viewing of pornography for half an hour a day even after being caught.

In cases where an employee has been wrongfully discharged, whether due to discrimination or as retaliation for whistle-blowing, an attorney may be able to look at the evidence and determine the correct course of action. Generally, this involves an administrative claim that may be followed up by a lawsuit if appropriate.

Source: Newport Beach-Corona Del Mar Patch, “City Pays to Settle Suit by Cop Fired for Frequently Viewing Porn at Work, Attorney Says”, Paige Austin, Jan. 26, 2015

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