As this blog detailed in previous coverage, California employees have protections under the law from being fired from their jobs on grounds of unlawful discrimination. When employees are fired because of unlawful discrimination, they have been wrongfully terminated and have legal remedies available to them.
These rules apply regardless of if the employee is an at-will employee or if the employee is under a contract. In other words, it is deemed wrongful termination if an employee's contract is terminated because of some unlawful discrimination such as age or disability discrimination.
Recently, one popular California sports radio host had his contract terminated with a San Francisco radio station. The man had been with the radio station for 28 years and had been inducted into the Bay Area Hall of Fame.
The California man, with the aid of his attorney, is now claiming that he was wrongfully terminated. The radio host claims his contract was terminated based on unlawful discrimination because he is 66 years old and was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
He argues the radio station did not want to deal with someone who is sick. Furthermore, they did not want to handle the large number of medical bills he was likely to incur over the next several years. The host reports that he was shown the door as though he was some sort of common criminal.
The radio station claims that the host failed to arrive to work on time, and as such they were within their rights to terminate his contract. Furthermore, the station states that the termination was in no way related to the host's age or disability.
However, if a law suit is filed, which has not yet occurred, and a court finds that the station wrongfully terminated the host, the host could be entitled to compensation for damages and lost wages.
Source: Marin Independent Journal, "Attorney: Novato's Ralph Barbieri wrongfully terminated by KNBR," Dan Brown, April 15, 2012