Carney R. Shegerian, founder of Shegerian & Associates, a Santa Monica-based law firm specializing in employee rights, has issued a statement aimed at all employees in light of recent news coverage surrounding Los Angeles Dodgers Owners Frank and Jamie McCourt and their divorce.
News of the McCourts’ separation broke last month as the Dodgers were preparing to take on the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series. The day after the Phillies eliminated the Dodgers from the playoffs, Frank McCourt fired his estranged wife Jamie, who had been serving as the Dodgers’ CEO.
Shegerian, who has represented wrongfully terminated employees throughout his career, stresses that divorce is not grounds for dismissal from the workplace.
“Most employees don’t know that an implied contract exists more times than not in employment relations that requires good cause before the actual firing an employee,” said Shegerian. “That Mr. McCourt would fire his wife in the midst of a divorce may indicate that the firing was without good cause.”
“It’s a lesson all employees can learn something from,” added Shegerian. “Many employers in the state of California tell their employees that they can be fired ‘at will.’ This is generally not true. If the employer can’t provide evidence that there was good cause for termination, the fired employee may have reason to sue. Recently we represented an employee who had been fired without a good or legitimate reason and we won the case. Our client obtained a $1.1 million verdict.”
“The bottom line here,” said Shegerian, “is that all employees have a right to work and not be discriminated against or wrongfully terminated — even if they are divorcing the owner of the company.”
As an experienced trial attorney, Shegerian has tried numerous jury trials in both state and federal court, always representing individuals that have suffered financial or emotional losses and have been wronged by employers, including major corporations.