Firefighter-Mechanic Awarded $400K For Retaliatory Harassment

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded almost $400,000 to a former county firefighter-mechanic who said he was retaliated against for testifying against a colleague who was ultimately fired in a sexual harassment investigation, the Contra Costa Times reported on September 13, 2011. Donald Rakisits, 50, testified in 2006 against mechanic Grant DeRose, who was accused of sexual harassment by a department secretary and later fired.

The Times reported Rakisits alleged that his supervisor, Craig Weeks, and others retaliated against him with false allegations of time card fraud and poor behavior. Rakisits claims he was forced to drive 65 miles daily to work after he was transferred to another county fire shop in East Los Angeles in a further act of retaliation before the collective alleged harassment forced him to quit his job. Most of the awarded a total of $389,945 is for future lost wages, according to the Times.

This retaliatory harassment is an unacceptable violation of employment law. Employees who are victims of emotional or verbal abuse are often reluctant to seek legal action out of fear that they may lose their jobs, but workers should realize that multiple state and federal statues protect them in such cases. If you want a Los Angeles employment lawyer to review the merits of your case, contact our office today to set up a consultation.

Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles employment attorney

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