Not far from Westlake Village, in Pasadena, a recently settled case has shed light on the way employers may hold some employees to standards they do not hold other employees to.
According to the Pasadena-Star News, recently, a former registered nurse at Huntington Memorial Hospital settled a wrongful termination and discrimination case against their employer. Although the plaintiff’s lawyers filed court papers indicating the case had been resolved, currently, the terms of the settlement have not been revealed.
The plaintiff, in this case, was Robert Young. Huntington Memorial Hospital hired Young to serve as a registered nurse in 2016. Court papers indicate that Young was a strong employee who steadily received more hours and pays.
Young’s relationship with his employer began to change in April 2020. This is when he underwent treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. Per Young’s lawsuit, due to his condition, Young’s doctor advised him not to treat patients who’d been infected with Covid-19.
As a means of protecting himself, Young requested time off under the California Family Rights Act. His request was granted on May 15, 2020.
However, upon returning to work in June, Young claims his superiors criticized his performance and singled him out, despite the fact that he’d been a reliable and valued employee in the past. According to his suit, although Young provided his employer with documentation of his medical condition and notes from his physician, his employer did not take reasonable steps to accommodate his needs.
Young complained that he was the victim of discrimination and retaliation. Upon making such complaints, Young was fired.
He responded by taking legal action. Predictably, his employer’s defense attorneys were prepared to explain that the termination of his employment was justified. Specifically, it was pointed out that Young had never obtained a bachelor of science degree in nursing. Earning such a degree within three years of being hired was technically a written condition of his employment.
In these circumstances, it might appear the hospital genuinely did have a valid reason for letting Young go. However, Young and his attorneys pointed out that management knew he did not have his degree when they hired him. Perhaps more importantly, other RNs at the hospital had not obtained their degrees yet, but unlike Young, they were not fired.
This discrepancy provided the groundwork for Young’s case. Because he was being held to a standard that other RNs were not held to, he could argue that his employer actually chose to fire him in an act of discrimination and/or retaliation.
Again, the terms of the settlement have not been revealed, so as of now, there is no way of knowing specifically how this case was resolved. That said, it does provide a glimpse into the ways employers and their defense teams will fight back against claims of wrongful discrimination.
Thus, if you’re attempting to hold an employer accountable after being fired for illegitimate reasons, you need to enlist the help of a qualified legal expert when presenting your case. At The Kaufman Law Firm, a Westlake Village wrongful termination attorney is prepared to offer the assistance you deserve. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 818-990-1999.
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Your job is more than just a source of income. It is a major part of your lifestyle. If you have been the victim of wrongful termination, wrongful demotion or any kind of discriminatory business practices, it is time to take action and contact a Ventura employment law attorney that can help. Attorney Matthew A. Kaufman and the team at The Kaufman Law Firm bring experience and a vast arsenal of legal resources to help clients recover the money they deserve.
To learn more, contact our Westlake Village or Los Angeles law office today and schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.