The project manager for a California jail project will return to work following his termination. According to reports, the man worked for the county for more than a decade before being terminated. The county claims that the man was let go in July 2013 because he claimed that he was a professional engineer. However, he was not licensed in the state of California, but was a P.E. in another state. The county claimed that he knowingly broke the code of conduct by using this designation.
The man, on the other hand, tells a different story. He claims that his wrongful termination had nothing to do with the P.E. designation, but it was because he asked for reasonable accommodations from the county as he was battling cancer. The man was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 but continued to work. He was only notified by the county of the investigation against him, after telling his supervisors about his medical needs.
The man appealed his termination to the Civil Services Commission for the county and won. The board ruled that he had to be reinstated to his job. The man was also entitled to benefits, interest and back pay as a result of the wrongful termination. While the county initially appealed the ruling, it has since dropped the appeal and reinstated the man.
California employees have certain protections in the workplace. One, employees cannot be fired for asking for reasonable accommodations for a disability. They cannot not be fired in retaliation for whistleblowing or enforcing safety rules. Employees need to understand all their legal rights when they have been fired. In some cases, legal action can be taken to help the employee get the person's job back.
Source: The Santa Maria Sun, "Ex-jail project manager sues county for alleged wrongful termination," Camillia Lanham, May 7, 2014