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California warehouse workers say layoffs were made in retaliation

A recent California lawsuit for alleged retaliation points out the difficulties involved in proving claims based upon accusations. Many times, retaliation is non-verbal and not set out in tangible forms. When there are opposite claims by employees and employers, the legal system is available to mediate and solve those conflicts.

Warehouse workers at a California distribution complex had sued over employment issues of wages and hours a year ago. They were employed by a company hired by another company to provide services for a two-year period. Following the lawsuit and only a few months into that contract, the hiring company decided to cancel their contract with the services company, causing the firings of 100 warehouse workers.

The workers claim the firings were unlawful retaliation due to their lawsuit actions. The distribution company and the services company counter-claim that termination of the contract and subsequent firings of warehouse workers was not a response to the previous worker lawsuit. The workers hired an employment discrimination and harassment attorney to pursue their rights through the court system. Their lawyers are attempting to obtain an injunction to prevent the terminations from occurring in late February, 2012.

Workers claim they received threats after filing their lawsuit and were told they would be fired if they supported the lawsuit. Two days after a management meeting in October 2011, the hiring company informed the distribution company of their decision to terminate the contracts due to costs unless the warehouse company could re-negotiate. That offer was refused by the warehouse company and terminations were scheduled.

In the lawsuit, attorneys allege violation of California minimum wage and overtime laws, improper payroll record-keeping and other violations. If you experience retaliation at work, obtain an employment discrimination and harassment lawyer to unravel complications and preserve your rights.

Source: The Press-Enterprise, "WORKPLACE: Warehouse workers say job cuts are retaliatory," Jack Katzanek, Jan. 18, 2012

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