In a recent case, our firm filed an employment termination case in LA Superior Court. The case asserts that the plaintiff who worked for a company, Mattel, Inc. for just short of 50 years has the right to file his claim under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), codified at California Government Code, Section 12960, et seq.
The facts and claims behind the claim
The employee was hired in 1968 as a model maker. He was later promoted to model maker supervisor. During his work until his termination in June 2018, three months short of 50 years, his work was performed “in an exemplary and timely manner.” Plaintiff was ultimately terminated on or about June 12, 2018. The defendants, in addition to Mattel, Inc. include the company human resources manager, Michelle de Armas. 100 additional defendants were named as Doe Defendants
As a model maker supervisor, the plaintiff was required to “be in constant communication with other departments.”
“On or about March 2018 a round of layoffs took place within the company. Defendants offered a compensation package to those laid off which rewarded these employees for the years they spent working for the company. The compensation reflected the dedication of the many years to their work. As a 70-year-old man, Plaintiff found himself as one of the oldest people that remained employed with Defendants.”
The complaint asserts that the defendants “had begun a clear pattern of terminating employees older in age.” For example, the complaint states that “unprovoked, Mike (whose last name presently unknown), the Senior Vice President of Mattel, once commented to the plaintiff, “You guys are making too much money.” This was suggesting that Plaintiff was earning too much due to his age and undeserving of the time and commitment he has put into the company.”
The complaint asserts that:
“Within the same month as the layoffs, Plaintiff was called into a meeting with Human Resources to be told there was a complaint against him of sexual harassment. Plaintiff was accused of incessantly calling women over to his office for his own visual amusement rather than for anything work-related.
Upon inquiry from Defendant, Michelle De Armas, the HR representative for the Designer Department refused to provide any examples of Plaintiff’s alleged misconduct, but instead told him that there would be an investigation conducted. This was a baseless accusation that was fabricated to defame Plaintiff of his long earned reputable status with Defendants. Plaintiff is aware that his accusers had made a publication of these sexual harassment accusations on a website available to the public.”
The complaint asserts that the De Armas “changed her initial accusations from sexual harassment to simply having made women uncomfortable. These inconsistencies shed light on the untruthfulness of the accusations against the plaintiff. Defendants were desperate for a way to rid themselves of the plaintiff without financial burden due to his lengthy employment with them.”
“On or about April 2018, Plaintiff was called into two additional meetings with HR where he continued to be incessantly accused of inappropriate misconduct by De Armas. However, these accusations had no merit since, after the initial meeting, Plaintiff had become more aware of how he acted around others, especially women, to ensure no one would feel uncomfortable from his actions. Yet, despite providing references to defend his character, Plaintiff continued to be accused of making some of his female coworkers uncomfortable. De Armas was relentless in her attempts to paint the Plaintiff as a villain.”
The plaintiff was informed that he was being terminated because the “investigation had concluded and due to the accusations made against him, Defendants had come to an agreement to terminate him.”
Plaintiff asserts that during his 50 years with Mattel, Inc. that the allegations against him had no merit, that he had “never once caused any issues or had received any coaching’s due to misconduct,” and that the allegations were fabricated “to tarnish Plaintiffs ability to retire with dignity and with a well-earned compensation for his time.”
In subsequent blogs, we will be discussing the various employment-related causes of action that the plaintiff brought against the work. Workers who are wrongfully fired, who are discriminated at work, harassed at work, and who suffer retaliation for asserting their legal rights – need the help of experienced California law employment attorneys. At Stephen Danz & Associates, we are an employment law firm representing employees in California for more than 30 years. We have numerous locations across the state. To learn if you have a claim against your employer, call us at (877)789-9707 to schedule an appointment. Se habla espanol.