No person should face negative repercussions for stepping up and doing the right thing. Unfortunately, this is a scenario that is far too common in workplaces across in the country. Workers in California are protected by law and should not fear retaliation for reporting inappropriate or illegal conduct. However, retaliation is often the very reaction of those who are called out for wrong-doing.
A physician in another state recently received a substantial monetary award from a wrongful termination lawsuit he filed after he experienced retaliation. The physician worked as the medical director for an emergency room. The lawsuit said the plaintiff became concerned about staffing after the facility opened a pediatric emergency room. Allegedly, the adult and pediatric emergency rooms were staffed with just one physician during the overnight hours.
According to the suit, the plaintiff filed a complaint to his superiors expressing patient safety concerns due to the dangerous level of understaffing. The lawsuit claimed that no changes were made and the plaintiff's superiors became angry about his complaints. Four months later, the plaintiff was told that he should resign or he would be fired, the lawsuit alleged. A jury sided with the plaintiff and awarded him $29 million in total damages.
When job loss occurs as a result of retaliatory acts, the financial and psychological effects can be absolutely devastating to victims. Workers in California who have lost employment due to retaliation could benefit from discussions with a knowledgeable employment law attorney. A successfully litigated lawsuit could result in damages to replace lost wages, as well as reinstatement if desired.