Carney Shegerian, trial lawyer and founder of the Los Angeles-based employment discrimination firm Shegerian & Associates, released a statement regarding the recent allegations made against Banc of California by a former employee. Heather Endresen alleges that a top executive at the bank engaged in sexual activity within the workplace and encouraged employees to do drugs and visit strip clubs. Endresen also claims that the bank misused money that was supposed to be paid to employees as bonuses. In the lawsuit, Endresen states that she was fired from her position shortly after reporting these concerns.
“Heather Endresen did what every employee should do after witnessing inappropriate and illegal behavior in the workplace—she reported it,” Shegerian says. “Banc of California responded in a way that no employer in this position ever should—by firing the whistleblower.”
“Ms. Endresen also alleges that the bank made it difficult for her to find a new job by lying to prospective employers about the quality of her work,” Shegerian continues. “Continuing to hurt someone’s career even after she has been wrongfully terminated is an egregious example of retaliatory behavior and should not be tolerated.”
Shegerian added that his firm has won numerous whistleblower cases under similar termination circumstances, including a $9.1 million verdict in a case in which a whistleblower expressed concerns about the safety of company equipment.
“Cases like these serve as a reminder that retaliation—especially against whistleblowers—is still a prevalent problem,” Shegerian states. “Hopefully, the verdict in this case will serve as a reminder to employers that there are consequences for violating federal and state employment laws.”