Monday, 26 July 2010

Ex-Employee of San Jose Trash Hauling Company Files Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

A wrongful termination dispute involving a former employee of a trash hauling company, is raising quite a stink. The employee, José Castellano, used to work for Coastside Scavenger. He has now filed a lawsuit against his former employer, alleging that the company terminated his services in retaliation for his children's decision to file grievances over unsafe working conditions at the company.

These two sons and two other employees of the company were fired in 2008. The four employees had formed a group to take legal action to defend themselves against the company's retaliatory action. Soon after his sons made that decision, Castellano claims he began to feel the heat at his office. The company allegedly began to criticize his job performance for no reason. He was also quickly promoted to lead mechanic from his earlier position as operations manager. He was soon fired. He had been working for the company for 37 years.

The company's harassment apparently didn't end there. Castellano alleges that even after he was fired, the general manager of Coastside Scavenger, Chris Porter, continued to defame him, calling him all kinds of names and maligning his reputation in order to diminish his prospects of further employment.

Castellano is alleging harassment just because his sons dared to blow the whistle on the company's unsafe work practices and wage and hour violations. After Castellano was fired, he wrote to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the California Highway Patrol and the Pacifica Building Department, to inform them about the serious violations of safety codes that were going on at Coastside Scavengers. These violations include a number of unethical practices, including putting mechanically malfunctioning garbage trucks into service, and illegally providing electrical wiring to a garage without a permit.

It can be complex for a California employment lawyer to prove that there were no grounds for an employee’s termination. The employer-employee relationship in California is an “at will” relationship, which means that the employee can be fired at the free will of the employer, except in certain exceptional circumstances. In a situation like this, your Los Angeles employment lawyer will use other tactics, like proving that the termination was against company policy.

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