Ivania Centeno, an employee of the Bon Appetit café in San Francisco for 13 years won her wrongful termination lawsuit against the company after 2 Investigates aired a report regarding her situation. In the lawsuit, Centeno claimed her mother-in-law became deathly ill, and Centeno was given permission by the company to fly to Nicaragua to help take care of her. The mother-in-law passed away, and when Centeno came back to her job, Bon Appetit terminated her for missing too many days of work. They also stated that her mother-in-law did not qualify for the family leave policy.
According to California’s paid leave law, taking care of in-laws is in fact covered. On the other hand, the California Family Rights Act says differently. The reasoning for a slow resolution to Centeno’s lawsuit is because the laws are unclear on which law takes precedence over the other.
Centeno’s termination from Bon Appetit was blamed on a computer software. Her recent absences from work due to a work-related injury were entered into the system, leading the computer system to conclude she should be terminated. After 2 Investigates got involved in the lawsuit, Centeno won. She was given back pay, unemployment benefits, and was presented with $211,795 in attorney fees as well as $25,603 in court costs.
If you have been wrongfully terminated please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer who will clearly explain your rights and options under the law.