Firing someone is never easy, but certain laws have been put in place to allow companies the right to terminate an employee who is not working to standards. West Virginia and many other states are considered "at will, " meaning a worker can be terminated at any time and without the need for first establishing just cause for doing so. However, there are still instances where workers are fired unjustly, and legal remedies exist to right those wrongs.
A man who worked at CNN for the better part of two decades claims that he lost his job due to age and race discrimination. He is described as both Latino-American and African American. During his tenure, he covered many major news stories, including Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 and the 2012 election. He was the first black man in California to be promoted to producer. Unfortunately, he apparently never received another promotion.
Over the years, he says he applied for many positions but was not chosen for any of them. He asserts that white, younger employees were promoted instead of him. When a new vice president and bureau chief was hired, the plaintiff claims that everything started to change and that his new superior had it out for him due. Sometime later, one of the stories the plaintiff had written closely resembled a story done by someone else and did not have any attribution to the author. The editor who noticed the discrepancy sent it to his superior who had an audit done on the plaintiff's work, which eventually ended in his termination.
The plaintiff claims that he was fired unjustly based upon the accusations against him. He believes the reason was because he had complained about discrimination previously and also because of his age and race. In his lawsuit against CNN, he is seeking $5 million for the damages he has endured. Workers in West Virginia who believe that they have been terminated based upon a protected status under state or federal law may be entitled to file a claim against their employer. Upon satisfactory evidence of the discrimination, financial relief and other remedies could be awarded.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Former CNN Employee Alleges Race And Age Discrimination In Wrongful Termination Suit", Cavan Sieczkowski, Oct. 7, 2014