Hispanic Former Professor Sues Pomona College for Wrongful Termination, Discrimination

Alma Martinez, a former professor at Pomona College, is suing the school, alleging they refused to grant her tenure and subsequently fired her solely because she is a Hispanic woman. According to the suit, Martinez has filed for wrongful termination and discrimination due to the fact she was refused a promotion and then terminated based on her race and gender.

Martinez claims she has never been allowed to access documents that would explain her termination, but according to the lawsuit, her academic qualifications were not in question. The claim alleges that Martinez met the standards of the faculty textbook’s requirements of “intellectual leadership, professional achievement and effective service.”

She is seeking unspecified damages and to return to her position with tenure.

California is an “at-will” employment state, meaning that without an employee contract stating otherwise, your job is considered indefinite- you can quit at any time, and your employer can terminate you when it wants, typically without consequences. However, if it can be proven that the cause for termination is directly related to the race or gender of the employee, it could be considered wrongful termination.

Discrimination can be emotionally traumatic for those who experience it on the job, and being terminated as a result can leave a person financially unstable. If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace, you may be entitled to relief under state or federal law. Contact our Los Angeles labor law attorneys today for a free consultation about your case.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys


2 Responses to Hispanic Former Professor Sues Pomona College for Wrongful Termination, Discrimination

  1. Anonymous Anonymous says:

    I probably know the answer, but I will ask it, anyway.

    I was hired as an adjunct history faculty at [a college] for Fall 2014. Throughout the semester, I had never heard any complaints from the department chair. The department chair came into one of my lectures for one evaluation. I met with the dean of the division to discuss the evaluation. Based on that one evaluation, the department chair did not want me to come back, and her comments did not give a specific reason. I believe that she did not like my teaching methods, and thus, I believe that my academic freedom was violated. I have used the same methods in other campuses, where I have have had glowing reports. The department chair even disregarded the positive comments my students made in their evaluations. Even though there was an “appeals process”, the dean told me straight away that I would have no chance, since the department chair had already made up her mind. As a Filipino-American, I am certain I would not have received this kind of treatment if I were white.

    Do I have any recourse? Thank you for your time.

    • Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob, PC Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob, PC says:

      Thank you for your comment. You may have a claim for discrimination, but every situation is different and very dependent on the unique facts of the case. Please call our office to discuss your situation further.