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California man says he was fired because of taking family leave

After reviewing the complaint of a man who once worked as a tax-planning manager at 21st Century Fox, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has affirmed his right to sue his former employer. His lawsuit alleges that his employer retaliated against him and eventually dismissed him after he took leave to help his wife, who was suffering from postpartum depression, under the Family Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act.

His baby was born in May 2013. Three months afterward the man told his supervisor that her illness required him to be home more and that the intended to use his family leave time. According to his lawsuit, he claims that the supervisor disliked the news and treated him differently than others who were not planning to take leave. After returning to work, he alleges that the company retaliated against him and eventually dismissed him.

In response to the lawsuit, a representative from the studio denied the accusations and insisted his employment was terminated for legal reasons unrelated to his use of family leave. The case is headed to federal court.

When a worker believes they are experiencing workplace discrimination, harassment or retaliation, that person could turn to an attorney to learn about employee rights. Discrimination can be difficult to document, but an attorney might be able to help an employee gather information needed to support a lawsuit if one becomes necessary. Lawsuits for discrimination and wrongful termination may seek damages like recovery of lost wages, reinstatement to a position and compensation for damage done to a career.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Fox Facing Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit After Worker's Sabbatical for Sick Wife", Eriq Gardner, April 2, 2015

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