We have previously written on this blog about the ongoing legal dispute between Minnesota hearing aid manufacturer Starkey Laboratories and former employees who accuse the company of wrongfully terminating them from their positions. Several lawsuits were filed against Starkey following the termination of numerous employees in connection with a scandal involving financial wrongdoing within the company.
Starkey has reportedly settled two of three wrongful termination lawsuits filed in the wake of its mass firing. In both cases, the former employees accused Starkey of firing them in breach of their employment contracts. One of the employees, who was an executive assistant to the company’s former president, also accuses Starkey of discrimination on the basis of marital status. She is the wife of the company’s former human resources executive, who was charged with embezzlement, along with the former president. She based her accusations of marital status discrimination on the fact that other executive assistants who were not married to Starkey executives kept their jobs in the wake of the financial scandal.
Starkey’s former president still has an outstanding wrongful termination case in which he accuse the company of retaliating against him for blowing the whistle on embezzlement, violations of tax law, and other wrongdoing occurring at the company. That lawsuit remains up in the air until his embezzlement case is resolved.
As the situation with Starkey demonstrates, employment termination doesn’t always occur on the best of terms for employees. Sorting out whether the employee was in the wrong can be a complicated matter, especially when the employee has been accused of wrongdoing or charged with a crime. In these cases, working with an experienced employment law attorney is important in order to clearly establish the basis for termination with reliable evidence. When the company was in the wrong, it should be held liable for compensating the wronged employee. A skilled attorney can help give an employee the best chance of obtaining recovery.