When employees are injured at work, extended time off may be required in order to recover. Fortunately, laws exist in California that grant injured workers this much-needed time off without losing employment or benefits. However, workers taking an extended time away from work can result in lost revenues for employers, and they may choose to take their frustrations out on innocent employees, resulting in retaliation.
A former employee of Chipotle recently received a payment of nearly $8 million after she was falsely accused of stealing and then fired. A lawsuit was filed by the ex-employee who worked as a general manger for 14 years for the popular restaurant chain. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff claimed that she was accused of stealing $626 from the restaurant's safe and wrongfully terminated. Allegedly, her superiors claimed to have footage of her stealing but destroyed the footage when the plaintiff denied stealing the money.
The woman claims that her firing was in retaliation for taking medical leave. The woman took medical leave to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, the lawsuit said. According to the lawsuit, being accused of theft and losing her job caused the plaintiff to suffer humiliation as well as a great deal of anxiety. Jurors sided with the plaintiff and ordered Chipotle to pay her $6 million for emotional distress and $1.97 million for loss of wages.
Losing a steady, good-paying job is difficult enough, but when a job is lost due to retaliation, the experience can be absolutely devastating. Workers in California that have experienced job loss as a result of retaliation may be able to take legal action. A successful suit could help provide victims with the financial relief needed to overcome this traumatic experience.
Source: Business Insider, "Chipotle is being forced to pay $8 million to an ex-manager who was fired after being accused of stealing $626", Kate Taylor, May 14, 2018