On May 4, a former aide for a California councilman told a jury that she had been fired after she acted as a witness in an investigation involving allegations of improper electioneering and harassment. A lawyer for the city of West Hollywood claimed, however, that the former aide and several others were fired due to business reasons.
The woman said that she began working as a deputy to the councilman in March 2011. She was fired in January 2016. The woman's attorney claimed that the woman was fired in retaliation for being a witness in an investigation that was brought on by allegations made by a coworker. The coworker had alleged that he had been harassed by his boss and that there had been instances of improper solicitation and electioneering. The coworker had also filed a lawsuit against the city; although, he ended up settling out of court.
The attorney for the city claimed, on the other hand, that the job titles were dismantled due to the fact that the program was problematic and not functioning properly. The attorney said that the system had cost the city as much as $600,000 in some years.
It is illegal for employers to terminate an employee in retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, unsafe work conditions or illegal activities that may be occurring in the workplace. Because a wrongful termination could leave former employees suddenly without income and other employee benefits, they may potentially be entitled to seek compensation for damages or even be reinstated in their former position. Depending on the circumstances and any relevant evidence, an employment attorney may negotiate with the employer or litigate if the employer refuses to come to a resolution.