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Officers allege retaliatory actions after inmate altercation

Two California corrections officers accused of perpetrating an inmate assault have been relieved of their duties by the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office. The two men, ages 28 and 30, lost their jobs after allegedly abusing an inmate who was facing allegations of rape and murder. Although law enforcement officials have supported the firings, family members of the officers say that the pair was fired after filing a complaint about unsafe conditions.

So far, both of the men have pleaded not guilty to charges of assault by a public officer in connection with the altercation. They could spend as long as three years in custody if convicted. Their next upcoming court date is scheduled for mid-May.

Teens suffer epidemic of sexual harassment in the workplace

One in three teenagers have been sexually harassed at work.

That shocking statistic underscores the need for diligent action against sexual harassment in the workplace, according to legal experts. California teens who are new to the workforce expect to learn about financial responsibility. Instead, they often are exposed to disturbing experiences that include harassment by a supervisor or client.

Utility worker gets $1.3 million for retaliatory discharge

A former utility worker has received $1.3 million in a California wrongful termination suit. The worker, who had been employed by SDG&E, claimed that he was a victim of retaliatory discharge after he revealed that the company was unfairly targeting households in the low-income category. Those clients were targeted because they provided additional money through fees related to delinquent bills.

News reports show that the man complained about the unfair practices. Lower-income populations in central San Diego were being targeted for the official delinquency notices, which can result in customers being charged $9 per notice. Those notices were hand-delivered only in low-income areas, according to courtroom documents.

Hospital worker turned patient suffers downsizing after surgery

A California hospital administrator who suffered as a patient and then reported the misdeeds claims that he suffered retaliation after a botched surgery. Reports show that the man, who had worked for Kaiser for nearly three decades, suffered serious injury when he underwent an outpatient bronchoscopy procedure. However, major complications that occurred during that procedure left the man with serious injuries that required several more surgeries to repair. When the man revealed several patient safety concerns because of the experience, he became the target of retaliatory actions.

The man said that he met with the hospital's senior vice president of quality and risk management during the summer, about four months after he was able to return to work. The man said he broached concerns including lack of appropriate staff and resources, poor emergency transportation options and violation of medically accepted standards of care. Further, the man alleged that he had not been informed when his treatment deviated from acceptable care protocols. In addition to meeting with the higher administrator, the man also submitted his claims in writing.

Female GitHub worker brings employment law complaint

A high-profile female software engineer in Silicon Valley has left a tech startup after allegedly suffering from workplace abuse. The woman said she was the victim of a hostile work environment, which was perpetrated by a male employee. The wife of one of the company's co-founders is also implicated in the claims of harassment in the workplace.

The company, GitHub, had been lauded for its flat organizational structure, which promoted equality in the workplace. Many claimed that the company was a model for a more accepting, diverse tech workplace. Now, though, experts in the industry are wondering whether the company is truly as progressive as was previously thought.

California whistleblower gets $1 million in hospital suit

A California state worker will receive $1 million from several sources after she was reportedly disciplined for reporting unethical practices. The woman, a hospital psychologist, contended that she was unfairly pressured to approve mentally ill patients for criminal trials. When she decided on reporting wrongdoing in the workplace, she reportedly suffered from workplace retaliation. She was ultimately fired in 2010 after being falsely accused of committing perjury, according to the lawsuit.

The woman said that she was pressured by supervisors at the Napa State Hospital to declare certain patients competent to stand trial. The hospital's psychology department chief made statements and policy changes that encouraged psychologists to lower evaluation standards and use untested methods. Even though some people thought the evaluations were bogus, the supervisor reportedly used the workplace peer-review process as leverage to push staff into unethical behavior.

Wrongful termination suit filed after complaints about doctor

A wrongful termination suit out of Fresno, California, has revealed alarming accusations of negligence related to open-heart surgery. The suit, which alleges retaliatory discharge, was filed by a former manager at the Community Regional Medical Center. She claims that she was wrongfully terminated, because she protested against the physician's unsafe and unprofessional behavior.

News reports indicate that the man is accused of walking out of an open-heart surgery procedure before the patient was stable. Now, lawsuits allege that this practice was common for the man. Even more alarming is the fact that hospital officials may have known that the man was violating protocol, but no one made moves to stop him. The woman claims that she was laid off, along with a number of other staff members who had protested, because she was seen as a barrier to financial success for the facility.

California basketball coach claims retaliation after retiring

A former San Diego State University women's basketball coach is seeking compensation from the school after allegedly being fired for demanding fair treatment. The woman claims that the retaliation occurred because she was demanding equal treatment for women's sports programs at the school. The former coach, who boasts more wins than any other women's basketball coach in the school's history, was also embroiled in a scandal after allegedly striking one of her assistant coaches. She was told that she had to retire, resign or be fired after allegedly striking the subordinate.

The woman has filed a lawsuit against the school, arguing that a breach of contract occurred when she was fired for complaining about the status of women's sports at the school. She said she regularly complained about the major differences between financial and infrastructure support for women's and men's basketball program. The men's program ostensibly received better housing, staffing, equipment and facilities than those provided for the women. The coach said she spent a significant amount of her own money to pay for staff and team needs.

San Diego settles sexual harassment in the workplace claim

The city of San Diego, California, is slated to drop $250,000 to settle an employment lawsuit filed against the former mayor. Mayor Bob Filner was accused of sexual harassment in the workplace, according to the suit, which was filed by his former communications director. Additional harassment suits are also being filed by two other women, though a total of 18 female employees stepped forward with complaints against Filner. He resigned his post amid the allegations in late August.

The 71-year-old ex-mayor will have his legal fees paid by the city. Further, he will not be held personally responsible for the financial compensation due to the plaintiff; California law requires cities to pay victims of sexual harassment by a supervisor. The plaintiff in this case sought the aforementioned amount because she suffered ongoing conduct for six months, according to news reports. The woman accused Filner of a variety of harassment allegations, including inappropriate comments and unwelcome physical contact.

Woman faced retaliatory discharge after reporting lobbying firm

A probe has been launched into a California lobbying firm's financial activities after a former worker filed an employment suit against the company. The investigation was initiated after a former female employee argued that she had been fired without legitimate cause for termination. That suit was filed in December.

The woman in the case said she lost her job because she refused to misreport political donations, per the orders handed down by her supervisor. Insiders speculate that the company, Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates, could face more than $100,000 in fines in connection with the financial misdeeds.

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