Former Employee Wants Hotel to Shoulder Cost of Lost Wages

Eduardo Gonzales was working as a night steward for the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa when he injured his left shoulder in an on-the-job accident in May 2009. The Sonoma Patch reported on November 11, 2011, that after filing a workers’ compensation claim, Gonzales “was given the green light in a medical exam to return to his duties cleaning the hotel’s food preparation spaces – with a reduced lifting load.” In April 2011, the Mission Inn terminated his employment.

As a result, Gonzales has now filed a complaint in California Superior Court against the Mission Inn alleging wrongful termination. In addition to lost wages, Gonzales is also claiming he suffered “emotional distress” and a “loss of dignity” when he lost his job, according to Patch.

The plaintiff’s attorney told Patch that Gonzales never took any time off from his job since starting at the Mission Inn in 2008, and never had any accommodation at work.

California does not have a direct wrongful termination law, but there are state and federal provisions that protect employees. An employee can still bring a valid claim against an employer for forcefully terminating the employee in instances involving retaliation, employment discrimination, breach of contract, character assassination, breach of good faith or constructive discharge.

Do you feel that you were ever wrongfully terminated but never pursued action because you were unsure about how to prove discrimination? What reasons did your employer give you for your release and how did you handle the situation?

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