Star Trek actor, William Shatner, Facing Lawsuit from Two Former Employees
ABC News reports that William Shatner, famously known as playing “Captain Kirk” in the television series “Star Trek,” is facing a lawsuit from two former employees who allege that the actor discriminated and harassed them after one of them refused to sign a waiver after getting injured on the job. Oscar Alfaro and his wife, Delmy, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on September 4, 2012, alleging that Shatner and his wife, Elizabeth, “harassed and berated” them so much that they had to quit their jobs, according to court documents obtained by ABC News. The Alfaros worked for Shatner for 20 years, but they left their unspecified jobs after Alfaro refused to sign a waiver after sustaining an undisclosed injury at the actor’s Studio City, California home, the lawsuit alleges. As a result, the Alfaros claim they suffered humiliation, embarrassment, and mental anguish in addition to the loss of earnings and benefits.
The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) protect qualified people with disabilities but who can do the job. It requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to allow disabled people to perform a job’s essential functions. This is not a guarantee of a job for disabled people, but it is protection for those who can perform the essential functions of their jobs without being discriminated against on the basis of their disabilities. California and federal law prohibit wrongful termination. An employee can bring a wrongful termination claim against his or her employer if the employee was terminated for a reason other than of job performance. This can include termination due to discrimination against the employee or when that employee asserts his or her legal rights. This also coincides with what California law defines retaliation as the unlawful action taken against an employee for exercising his or her legal rights in the workplace. Lastly, FEHA prohibits harassment of an employee on the basis of race, national origin, age, sex, disability – actual or perceived, sexual orientation. To prevail on a harassment claim, the plaintiff must prove that that the harassment was severe or pervasive enough to alter working conditions and create an abusive environment.
If you believe you have been subjected to workplace harassment or have been retaliated against after reporting a work-related injury, contact the attorneys at Khorrami, LLP, for an immediate and confidential evaluation.