The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects employees from discrimination, retaliation, and harassment on the basis of their race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, martial status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or veteran or military status.
Dec. 25, 2018
Did Accounting Irregularities Lead to A Wrongful Termination?
Older California residents may remember that Ray Charles never let his blindness keep him from entertaining people with a smile. Later in his life, he lent his name to an organization called the Ray Charles Foundation. Recently, the foundation has come under scrutiny because one of its former employees claims that she is the victim of wrongful termination.
The employee in question began working in the organization’s accounting department back in 2014. She claims that at the beginning of 2018, she discovered some irregularities in the records and reported them to her superiors. She found what she believes to be fraudulent transactions covering unauthorized expenses such as home improvements, travel and a vehicle purchase, along with other questionable accounting entries.
The employee claims that after she complained her superiors began excluding her from certain work activities such as board meetings and other work functions she previously attended. Eventually, in July 2018, she was terminated. She alleges that this happened because she came forward about the fraudulent accounting entries.
In fact, the woman claims she was not the only one who was let go. Even board members were not safe. Recently, she filed a lawsuit alleging several workplace violations, including wrongful termination.
Both California and federal law protect workers who report issues such as this one from retaliation by an employer. Wrongful termination constitutes a form of retaliation, and an employee who believes that he or she was fired for coming forward regarding unsavory or unsafe activities within a company could have grounds to pursue restitution in civil court. A successful claim could result in monetary and, depending on the situation, nonmonetary awards of damages.
How many times have you wondered if you’re getting paid your fair share? Do you think you’re underpaid because of your race, sex, gender, disability, or even your prior salary history?
If you cannot work because you’re injured/sick or you need to care for a qualifying family member, eligible employees (those who worked more than 1,250 hours in the year prior for an employer with 5 or more employees) are eligible for up to 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) and/or California Family Rights Act protected Leave (CFRA).