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Judge allows plaintiff chance to amend wrongful termination case

Things may have looked bleak for a former social worker recently when a judge refused to hear her wrongful termination case this month. For some of our readers here in Texas, this would have meant further frustrations and a feeling of injustice. But for the woman in this case, the judge’s decision to allow her to amend her case before it could be heard again meant a second chance to tell her side of the story.

The case takes place miles away in California where the woman claims that she was unlawfully fired from her position as a social worker. She is currently attempting to sue Kasier Permanente, her former employer, for retaliation and wrongful termination after the company failed to provide help after a patient allegedly made a death threat against her. While she claimed in court that this threat created a hostile work environment and a safety concern for herself and patients, the judge was not as convinced.

According to the judge, her argument needed to be amended before the case could be heard again. As the judge explained, the woman’s claims of hostility needed to be based in fact rather than conclusory statements. It’s something we’re sure some of our readers have encountered in cases of their own, lending credence to the fact that wrongful termination cases often require well-documented evidence in order to be present a clear case to the courts.

For the woman in this case, while she has been asked to amend her claims of retaliation, her claims of wrongful termination are still be upheld, despite adamant protests from her former employer. Although Kaiser claims that the woman could have overturned the decision to fire her, the court contended that no such hearing process was offered to her and therefore did not know she had the right to such process.

While the woman has been given 20 days to amend her complaint, it’s unclear whether this will have any significant impact on her wrongful termination complaint on a whole down the road.

Source: Courthouse News, "Kaiser Worker's Retaliation Case Needs Work," Matt Reynolds, Sept. 20, 2013

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