Readers in Chaska may or may not be aware that in many cases employers can fire an employee at anytime, for any reason, without warning. While employment law does allow for at-will termination, an employer still cannot terminate an employee’s contract for unlawful reasons, including based on a disability or in retaliation for blowing the whistle on another employment law violation.
According to reports, a woman who was fired from her position as the municipal court administrator for the city of Dardenne Prairie, just west of St. Louis in Missouri, claimed that her termination was based on retaliation and unlawful discrimination. The woman reportedly alleged that after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, the city administrator, her superior, began to discriminate against her. Her wrongful dismissal, she claimed, came after she made a formal complaint about the discrimination to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission.
The woman has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the city for the alleged discrimination and wrongful termination. According to reports, she asked for damages totaling $75,000 and back pay. With encouragement from the federal commission, the two sides purportedly attempted to reach a settlement prior to the legal action, but were unsuccessful. It is reportedly the city’s stance that the woman was terminated for insubordination.
If, like the woman in this case, you believe you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace or a wrongful discharge, you too may find it of benefit to consult with an attorney and to consider taking legal action. A lawyer will be able to offer advice based on your specific situation and answer any questions that you might have.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Ex-court official says Dardenne Prairie fired her because she has cancer,” Mark Schlinkmann, Dec. 7, 2013