On July 6, two former employees (plaintiffs) of Grupo Radio Centro LA, LLC filed a complaint for damages against the radio station and several individuals employed by the radio station, citing four causes of action:
- Violation of Labor Code § 1102.5
This code is essentially an anti-retaliation law, forbidding an employer or any person acting on behalf of an employer to retaliate against an employee for disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency or testifying before any public body conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry, if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses an employer’s violation of state or federal statute, or a violation or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation, regardless of whether disclosing the information is part of the employee’s job duties.
The plaintiffs became aware of and reported certain illegal, unethical, and fraudulent activity at Grupo Radio Centro LA, including but not limited to:
- Suspected acts of payola (the illegal paying of cash or gifts in exchange for airplay) and plugola (advertising or publicity on radio or television that is intended for self-promotion, not purchased like regular advertising by an independent sponsor).
- Suspected fraud related to Nielsen ratings
- Suspected undocumented employees who did not have legal citizenship in the U.S.
- Suspected undocumented agents and independent contractors illegally working at Grupo Radio Centro LA
Plaintiffs believe and allege that as a result of Plaintiffs’ attempts to properly and accurately report, disclose, disallow, and eliminate the violative conduct that defendants and their employees took retaliatory and adverse actions against Plaintiffs, including but not limited to:
- Subjecting Plaintiffs to ongoing hostility in the work environment
- Subjecting Plaintiffs to intolerable working conditions
- Obstructing other economic and career opportunities for Plaintiffs
- Engaging in a campaign of character assassination
- Making demeaning remarks and defamatory statements
- Failing to protect Plaintiffs from retaliation and adverse actions
- Wrongfully terminating Plaintiffs on or about August 27, 2014 and August 28, 2014.
- Wrongful termination in violation of public policy
Plaintiffs allege that as a result of Plaintiffs’ attempts to properly report and eliminate the violative conduct, and the refusal to participate in the violative conduct that Plaintiffs were wrongfully terminated by defendants without good cause.
Plaintiffs allege that said terminations were designed to harass and retaliate against Plaintiffs for reporting the protected disclosures of violative conduct and refusal to participate in the violative conduct were motivating reasons for their termination.
Plaintiffs further allege that as a result of defendants’ alleged unlawful conduct that Plaintiffs suffered loss of earnings and benefits (past and future), a loss of earning capacity, damage to reputation, severe emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment, mental anguish, and profound shock to the nervous system.
- Breach of contract
Plaintiffs allege that they duly performed all duties of their obligations, and fulfilled the terms and conditions of their employment agreements and further allege that Defendants breached said employment agreements by their conduct.
The lead Plaintiff alleges that one of the Defendants, while in the course and scope of his employment with the radio station, published and/or caused to be published, disseminated, circulated printed material which falsely and maliciously stated, among other things, that “sales were dropping” because of Plaintiff and that Plaintiff was the cause of the poor morale of the sales team and other personnel and the whole radio station was destroyed because of Plaintiff. Defendants’ defense is that the termination of the employees was based on Plaintiffs not meeting their project goals.
In any event, serious allegations have been asserted and litigation is only in the beginning stages. This suit will likely be pending for the next couple of years.
Addressing Wrongful Termination
If you have been fired from a job based on discrimination, disability, harassment, or in retaliation of the exercising of your rights, then you have been wrongfully terminated, for which the law (local, state, and federal) offers a remedy. However, it can be intimidating to pursue damages from a powerful employer for wrongful termination. It is a complicated and specific area of law, and there are strict rules and guidelines to follow when attempting to recover from an employer.
The Liskey Law Firm is skilled and experienced in representing individuals (or groups of individuals) who believe they have been wrongfully terminated. If you believe you have been a victim of wrongful termination, contact the Liskey Law Firm right away to schedule a consultation. Due to statutory guidelines, time is of the essence when filing a suit against an employer for wrongful termination.