A California property owners association has recently been sued for wrongful termination for the second time in six months. In the first suit, the former employee claimed that she was terminated because of her age and her race. Under California employee laws, employees are protected from being fired for either of those reasons.
In the newest suit, the former employee says that she was fired after complaining about being sexually harassed in the workplace. For months before she was fired, the employee claims that her supervisor made inappropriate comments and made unwanted physical touching after forcing her to be alone with him for long periods of time.
At one point, the woman even said that the man implied that she would need to have sexual relations with him before he would give her a per diem check she had earned. After this incident, the woman claims that she reported the behavior to the Board President of the company. After she reported the behavior, the company did nothing to stop the harassment.
In July 2012, the woman was told that the company would be restructuring and that she was being laid off. However, following her termination, no other employees were let go from the company. In her suit, the woman claims that she has suffered emotional and physical distress from the ordeal. Furthermore, she has lost wages and earning capacity because of her wrongful termination.
Under California law, employers cannot fire someone in retaliation for complaining about illegal activity. Furthermore, it is illegal for an employer to sexually harass an employee. If an employee faces retaliation, then that employee may be entitled to compensation because of the wrongful termination.
Source: Anderson Valley Post, “Second ex-employee sues Lake California POA,” Raquel Royers, Jan. 15, 2013