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Wrongful termination suit suggests harassment, retaliation

When an employee is subjected to mistreatment within a California workplace, it can be difficult to know how to react. Many fear that speaking out will lead to retaliatory action or even dismissal. In some cases, the offensive behavior may be so ingrained into the culture of the company that individuals can feel uncomfortable making a complaint. Many times, employees do not feel that they are able to effectively fight back until the situation ends in termination. Once fired, a wrongful termination suit allows for the opportunity to bring the questionable treatment before a court of law.

A former employee of Lake California Property Owners Association Inc. has brought such a suit against her former employer. This comprises the second such suit in the past six months. The employee asserts within her complaint that she was subjected to multiple acts of sexual harassment at the hands of a manager for the association. In addition, she claims that inappropriate comments led to instances of unwanted physical contact and sexual innuendo.

The lawsuit asks for both punitive and exemplary damages. The former employee claims that she has suffered lost income and a reduced earning capacity. In addition, she claims to have experiences physical injuries, mental and emotional distress and physical sickness connected to the inappropriate treatment and her subsequent firing. Because another female employee has made similar claims, the suit alleges that the company should have known about the actions of the manager and taken steps to stop him from harassing others.

As this case demonstrates, many California employees experience mistreatment within the workplace. While each experience is different, the underlying commonality in virtually all harassment suits involves a member of management leveraging his or her position of authority against another employee. Employees who are subjected to this type of mistreatment should investigate their legal rights. When harassment leads to the loss of one's job, a wrongful termination suit may be the only path to justice.

Source: Anderson Valley Post, "Second ex-employee sues Lake California POA," Raquel Royers, Jan. 15, 2013

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