Imagine a situation in which the wife of a company president doesn’t want her husband working with female employees. It led one female employee to experience disparate treatment on the job in addition to termination from her job at a forklift dealer. California employees should know that this isn’t necessarily a clear case of sex discrimination. In some cases, spousal jealousy can actually be a lawful reason for firing someone.
However, a court ruling found that this is true when a spouse is jealous of a single employee. If a spouse tries to eliminate an entire gender from the workplace, that could be an example of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the case in question, a female employee claimed that the male president wouldn’t look her in the eye or invite her to important meetings. This was in spite of the fact that she was deemed to be an excellent employee.
In her lawsuit, the woman claims that the president told her that she was being let go because his wife didn’t want him working with female employees. Although the woman was rehired, she was ultimately terminated again and treated differently than male workers according to her lawsuit. The takeaway for employees in this case may be that employment law can protect them against those who may have a personal vendetta against them.
If a company violates employment law, an employee may have recourse against the company. For instance, it may be possible to file a lawsuit in the hopes of winning compensation or reinstatement. It may also be possible to engage in negotiations with the company in an effort to resolve the matter in an amicable and timely manner. An attorney may be able to help a worker obtain a favorable outcome in such talks.