Experiencing a wrongful termination can shake you to your core. Amidst the hurt and confusion, you may wonder if you have a case worth pursuing. You may also want to learn what happens after you hire a wrongful termination lawyer. Therefore, we offer a description of 4 wrongful termination lawsuits that may apply to your case. We believe that understanding the legal framework and legal precedents can provide the clarity you need.
4 Wrongful Termination Lawsuits That May Apply to Your Case
These well-known cases apply to any wrongful termination litigation pursued today. Keep reading to learn more about these milestone decisions and how they may influence your lawsuit. From setting precedents, to helping guide you on what questions to ask your wrongful termination lawyer, you’ll find it below.
Tameny v. Atlantic Richfield Co.
This case involved an employee who lost his job after refusing to participate in a price-fixing scheme. He filed a lawsuit against Atlantic Richfield, alleging that his termination violated public policy.
The California Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the employee. They maintained that employers could not terminate workers for refusing to engage in illegal activity. Furthermore, it does not matter if the requested actions had current prohibitions under the law.
The court’s justification was that allowing employers to fire employees for refusing illegal activities undermines public policy. As such, the court held that employers must respect regulations. Additionally, employers do not have the right to retaliate against them for doing so.
The ruling in Tameny v. Atlantic Richfield Co. had significant implications for employment law. Shortly after the ruling, many states recognized its validity as well. If you find yourself in similar circumstances, this long-standing legal precedent may force a quick settlement.
Johnson v. Transportation Agency, Santa Clara County
This suit centered around a female engineer, Diane Joyce. She received a promotion over a male colleague with fewer qualifications. As a result of this decision, Paul Johnson sued the Santa Clara County Transportation Authority.
The supervisors that chose cited a company policy designed to enhance workplace diversity. In this case, the Supreme Court sided with the county. They ruled that affirmative action programs were constitutional when they did not infringe on the rights of non-minority workers.
Johnson v. Transportation Agency, Santa Clara County set a significant precedent. Despite protestations, it confirmed the legality of affirmative action programs. As a result, employers can now institute policies to promote diversity without consequences. Hence why this case is one of 4 wrongful termination lawsuits that may affect your case.
However, these initiatives should have specific designs and be non-discriminatory in their execution. Accordingly, if you have considered a lawsuit, it is vital to share the details with an attorney. They may identify violations of this precedent that would justify a lawsuit, possibly even for workplace discrimination.
Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp.
This case involved Kevin Kasten, who worked at a Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics manufacturing plant. Kasten filed a lawsuit after he lost his job for complaining about the placement of time clocks. The case hinged on the argument that they retaliated because he reported Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Kasten. They argued the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provision protected employees who make oral complaints. The court found the law’s language was broad enough to include verbal protests. It also affirmed that retaliation has a chilling effect on exercising employee rights.
In practicality, the Supreme Court held that oral complaints could be sufficient to serve as notice of a violation. Upholding this concept was critical in triggering the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provision.
The ruling in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. clarified the scope of the FLSA. It affirmed the principle that employees should be free to report potential violations without fear of retaliation. If you lost your job for speaking up against similar circumstances, you have the law on your side.
Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth
This lawsuit involved a female employee subjected to sexual harassment by her supervisor. But she did not suffer any tangible employment action such as a demotion or termination. In this circumstance, the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the employer.
The decision in Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth set a new bar for employer liability in sexual harassment cases. Today, law students learn how this litigation created the “tangible employment action” standard. It dictates that an organization is liable when employment actions follow the harassment. The court justified the ruling by stating these actions create a greater risk of harm to the employee.
The case continues to have significant implications for employers and employees in the United States. It clarified the legal framework surrounding sexual harassment claims in the workplace. As a result, it may also affect what you can achieve through litigation. If you cannot connect inappropriate behavior to direct consequences, you may have fewer options in court.
Consult With a Wrongful Termination Attorney
Wrongful termination cases have changed the landscape of employment law in the United States, as you’ve learned by reading “4 wrongful termination lawsuits that may apply to your case”. While these lawsuits represent substantial precedents, they are not infallible. There are other regulations and breakthrough developments each year.
This complexity means you need an experienced wrongful termination attorney. This is something that you can expect if you utilize our service. They certainly understand the law, but even more importantly, they know which way the courts lean. You could find an environment that is more sympathetic to your assertions than you could have guessed.