CA appeals court gives wrongful termination case a second chance

If at first you don’t succeed, the old saying goes, try, try again. In the legal arena, the method for doing that is through the appeals system.

Whether you are waging a criminal defense or mounting an action related to alleged unfair action by an employer, the possibility of appeal exists. The going can be rough and it is impossible to say what the outcome of any given case may be, but with the help of a dedicated attorney with solid experience, there can be reason to hope.

An example of what may be possible is offered in the case of a man in Los Angeles who is pursuing a wrongful termination claim against a former employer. He is claiming that he is the victim of a discriminatory firing under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). And because of a decision by California’s 2nd Appellate District, he will have a chance to argue his case. Up until this week that wasn’t certain.

According to the court case file, the man initiated his legal action back in 2012. It all stemmed from a back injury he had suffered in 2010. He filed for and received workers’ compensation for that, but continued to have ongoing back issues. Over time he claims he saw his work responsibilities dwindle. Eventually he wound up being fired in July 2011.

The man’s initial filing was based on a claim that he’d been fired in retaliation for seeking workers’ compensation, in violation of the state’s Labor Code. When a decision from one state court in another case made that theory unworkable, the man sought approval to amend his case so that it could be heard under the FEHA, but the Superior Court judge hearing the matter refused to allow it.

The 2nd District court said that was unreasonable and sent the case back for further proceedings with the alleged violation of FEHA as the legal underpinning.

Persistence has paid off.

Source: Metropolitan News-Enterprise, “C.A. Says Judge Duffy-Lewis Unreasonably Denied Leave to Amend a Complaint,” Jan. 12, 2015

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