In Los Angeles, California, two former employees of a radio station filed lawsuits alleging wrongful termination as defined by California labor laws. They are accusing the station of engaging in acts that constitute defamation of character. The employees claim that the company retaliated against them for being whistleblowers regarding fraud perpetrated by the station, and the hiring of illegal immigrants.
The defendant, Grupo Radio Centro LA LCC, has denied the allegations. The plaintiffs are Sean O’Neill, who worked in the role of vice president/general manager, and Rosa Ambriz, who served as office manager. After entering into a four-year contract, O’Neill started working for the station in January 2014. He was terminated in August 2014 after having worked there for only seven months. Ambriz was laid off from her role at the same time.
The plaintiffs allege that Grupo terminated them after they were vocal about fraud concerning Nielsen ratings, and “payola” and “plugola,” which are methods of payment and incentives to publicize and/or advertise products illegally. They claim that Grupo retaliated against them by creating a hostile work environment, subjecting them to unbearable working conditions, and wrongfully terminating them. In response, Grupo’s legal counsel claims that O’Neill was fired because he failed to meet sales goals, in addition to allegations that he harassed employees.
While O’Neill alleges that Grupo violated the California Labor Code and committed breach of contract, defamation and wrongful termination, Ambriz accuses Grupo of wrongful termination and violation of the California Labor Code. There is also a co-defendant named Ricardo Sanchez, who is alleged to have composed a memo to O’Neill dated July 8, 2014, that contained remarks that were defamatory and demeaning. It is alleged that the email accused O’Neill of producing low morale among the sales workers, and that it accused O’Neill’s department of underperforming. In addition, the email stated that the clients felt uneasy engaging in business dealings with O’Neill, and that O’Neill destroyed the station.
If you think that you are the victim of wrongful termination or other violations of California labor laws, you should consult an employment lawyer.
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