A recent wrongful termination case may interest Californians. The case, which occurred in Boston, involved a legally blind barber who was fired from his job. Reportedly, a jury returned a verdict awarding the man $75,000 for lost wages and an additional $25,000 for emotional distress.
Sources indicate that the man claims he was fired in 2012 when his employer learned of his condition. He had worked at the barbershop for a year when he was fired. He reportedly suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease which limits the man’s peripheral vision and his ability to see after dark. Despite being considered legally blind, the man said the diagnosis in no way interfered with his ability to do his job.
The employer claimed that the man was fired because he was not a licensed barber and had poor work performance, something the man disputes. Instead, the man claimed that the employer fired him after he ran into a chair and tripped over the legs of a customer. The employer indicated it plans to appeal the jury’s decision.
A worker who is the victim of unlawful discrimination and suffers a negative job action may want to talk to an employment law attorney about what happened. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against workers who are in certain protected classes, including those who are disabled. An attorney may help their clients file complaints with both the appropriate state and federal agencies. If they are given leave to sue in federal or state court, they may then file the complaint in the appropriate court. An attorney may then litigate on behalf of their clients to secure the lost wages and other damages to which they should be entitled.
Source: FOX news, “‘Blind Barber’ awarded $100k for wrongful termination,” Nov. 8, 2015.