The West Covina Unified School District agreed to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by its former superintendent, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. The school board voted 3-2 to offer a settlement to Liliam Leis-Castillo, who served as superintendent of the entire district from 2006-2011.
The school board voted to terminate Leis-Castillo in 2011. Leis-Castillo accused board member Steve Cox of making repeated unwanted sexual advances towards her and allegedly would not back off when she told him to. She alleges she was terminated after turning Cox down and complaining to the board about the conduct.
Leis-Castillo was awarded her 18-month salary of $375,000 in addition to back pay for benefits totaling $180,000. Cox and another board member, Mike Spence, voted against the settlement offer, and Cox called Leis-Castillo a “greedy liar.”
“Keep in mind that she already got 18 months of severance pay and the contract she originally signed said that if we released her without cause we would be free of any claims,” said Spence. “She still took us to court.”
Just because an employee has a contract or works in an at-will employment state does not mean the employee cannot file a lawsuit to recover punitive damages. Please contact our law firm for a free consultation if you have been victimized at work.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers