A Californian man has sued his former employer — Oracle — for wrongful termination. The man claims that he was fired after he questioned why one of his employees was to make significantly less money than other employees on the man’s team. According to reports, the man had a successful career with the company and had won awards.

However, the man was asked to offer an Oracle employee from India significantly less than what other people were making. He made it clear to the company that he thought that treatment was illegal. Both members from the human resources department and managers at the company assured him there was nothing wrong with the policy and to let it go. He was fired shortly after. According to the man, his termination did not comply with the company’s warning policies or performance review policies.

Under certain state and federal employment laws — including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — it is illegal to discriminate against a person based on that person’s national origin. It is also illegal to discriminate on the basis of a variety of factors including an employee’s race, religion, sexual orientation, gender and others. Being terminated based on unlawful discriminatory or being fired in retaliation for reporting workplace discrimination may be considered wrongful termination.

Despite the fact that most California employees are at will employees, employers still need to respect rules concerning discrimination. Those employers who wrongfully terminate employee can be liable for their actions. Employees may be entitled to compensation including compensatory damages and punitive damages. Employees should not be afraid to exercise their rights and question whether their termination was wrongful. By bringing a suit, employees can protect themselves and their co-workers.

Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, “Former Oracle executive sues, alleges discriminatory pay for Indian colleague,” Jon Xavier, Jan. 14, 2014