When employees in California go through a debilitating illness, the last thing that most want to worry about is their job security. It seems given in today’s professional workplace that when employees are required to go through necessary medical treatments, their employers will understand certain performance lapses and their jobs will be waiting for them when they can return to full-time work. Recently, an article reported that an executive going through breast cancer treatment has sued E! News for wrongful termination when she was fired after lackluster performance.

In the lawsuit, the casting executive has claimed breach of contract, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. The woman joined the company in 2009 and worked her way up to her final role as senior vice president of talent development and casting. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, she had to undergo surgery, radiation treatments and chemotherapy.

Per the lawsuit’s documents, despite feeling poorly and dealing with comments from management about her sickly appearance, the woman continued to perform her duties. These duties included executive meetings, celebrity meetings and other public appearances. In one specific instance, another executive suggested that she cover herself with a poncho due to her appearance. The woman believes that the way she looked, and not her skills, were paramount to her employment. Because she did not fit the image, she feels she was fired.

If other employees in California feel that they are facing wrongful termination, it could be beneficial to consult with an attorney. An attorney can assist employees in understanding their rights and their best legal options. By consulting with an attorney, workers may be able to obtain the justice they deserve. 

Source: hollywoodreporter.com, “Casting Exec Sues E! for Wrongful Termination Following Breast Cancer Treatment“, Ashley Cullins, Oct. 27, 2016