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Wrongful Job Termination Suits

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 2005 | Christine Hanley, Times Staff Writer
A judge on Tuesday threw out a wrongful-termination lawsuit filed against Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas by a former press aide. Michelle Emard, who was fired as a district attorney's spokeswoman in May 2003 after eight months on the job, alleged she was dismissed after challenging orders to blacklist certain news reporters and to concentrate on improving the prosecutor's political image at the expense of the public's right to know.
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WORLD
May 9, 2005 | Vanora McWalters, Special to The Times
If a reporter refuses to go to a war zone, can his employer fire him? No, say a growing number of codes of practice for journalists worldwide, developed in response to the increasing danger of war reporting. The News Security Group, formed in 2000 to establish guidelines to protect journalists, says clearly that "assignments to war zones or hostile environments must be voluntary." Networks such as CNN, ABC News, CBS News and NBC News have all agreed to follow the guidelines.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
Race was a factor when Cal State Stanislaus officials decided two years ago to release a white basketball coach, a jury has found. Former men's basketball coach Mike Terpstra was awarded $540,000 after claiming his contract was allowed to expire because the university wanted a black coach. Terpstra was replaced by another white coach, but witnesses testified that black administrators had lobbied for a black coach.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 21, 2005 | Jeff Gottlieb, Times Staff Writer
Ending 8 1/2 years of litigation, a former finance supervisor for Orange will receive $1.125 million to settle her claim that the city violated her civil rights by firing her illegally. Lynn Tam, 45, will receive $450,000 in back wages, a $75,000 award for waiving reinstatement to her job in the city's utility department, and $600,000 for the rights violation, attorneys for both sides announced Wednesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2005 | Robert W. Welkos, Times Staff Writer
Marlon Brando's former business manager sued the late actor's estate Monday for sexual harassment and wrongful termination, alleging that the Oscar-winning star of "The Godfather" and "On the Waterfront" had subjected her to a hostile work environment that included exposing his genitals, touching her inappropriately and insisting that she watch pornographic films with him. The suit by Jo An Corrales of Kalama, Wash., was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2005 | Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writer
The city of South Gate has agreed to pay $1.6 million to a former assistant police chief who claimed in a lawsuit that he was wrongly dismissed. The settlement ends litigation involving three top-ranking police officials whose contracts were rescinded in 2003 by City Council members who said the lawmen were overpaid. Mark Van Holt, 42, had accused the city of breaching his five-year contract, retaliating against him and allowing a hostile work environment within its police department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2005 | Steve Hymon, Times Staff Writer
The Los Angeles City Council approved a $490,000 settlement Friday for a former employee who said he was fired after probing whether private attorneys had overbilled the city. The city also has spent $293,000 through last September on outside counsel defending itself in the case, said Jonathan Diamond, a spokesman for the city attorney's office. Diamond said it would take several days to tabulate expenses since then.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2005 | Patrick McGreevy, Times Staff Writer
A former public relations executive whose firm is accused of overbilling the city of Los Angeles sued his onetime employer Tuesday, saying he was made a scapegoat and fired without cause. Douglas R. Dowie, who was general manager of the L.A. office for Fleishman-Hillard, alleged in the lawsuit that the company's own investigation found he did not engage in misconduct.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 23, 2005 | H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer
Fired Orange County Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo has sued to get his job back, alleging he was forced to give misleading information when he testified on behalf of the department and when he provided information to the media. Jaramillo's suit against Orange County and Sheriff Michael S. Carona was filed March 17 and contends he was wrongfully terminated by Carona a year earlier. Jaramillo is seeking to return to work with full compensation, benefits and seniority.
SPORTS
March 8, 2005 | Sam Farmer, Times Staff Writer
Former University of Washington football coach Rick Neuheisel will receive $4.7 million from the university and the NCAA to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit, it was announced Monday -- a rare payout that underscores the increasingly complex nature of college sports governance. Neuheisel, 44, was fired in 2003 after he admitted lying to NCAA investigators about his involvement in two high-stakes NCAA tournament pools in which he won $12,123.
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