Grupo Radio Centro LA LCC, is being sued by two former employees citing wrongful termination. The pair claims they were fired in retaliation for blowing the whistle on alleged fraud at the station, together with allegations the station had been employing illegal immigrants.
The plaintiffs: The two former employees of the radio station are Sean O'Neill, former Vice President/General Manager, and Rosa Ambriz, Office Manager. O'Neill was hired in January 2014 with a four year contract. He was terminated in August of 2014. Ambriz was also laid off from her position at the same time O'Neill was fired.
The defendants: Grupo Radio Centro LA LCC, is a California-based radio station owned by a Mexican corporation. A co-defendant in the case has been identified as Ricardo Sanchez, who is alleged to have written a memo dated July 8, 2014 to O'Neill that included “demeaning and defamatory remarks”. The e-mail is alleged to have accused O'Neill of creating low morale among sales staff, and accusing O'Neill's department of showing poor sales performance.
Wrongful Termination Allegations: O'Neill and Ambriz accuse Grupo of wrongful termination under the California labor code after they spoke out against alleged Nielsen ratings fraud and so-called “payola” and “plugola” – forms of payment and incentives to broadcast and/or promote products illicitly. There were also allegations the station had hired some employees and independent contractors that were not legally authorized to work in the US.
According to their California and labor law action, “[Grupo] took retaliatory and adverse actions against plaintiffs, including, but not limited to, subjecting plaintiffs to ongoing hostility in the work environment, subjecting plaintiffs to intolerable working conditions…and wrongfully terminating [the plaintiffs],” the complaint says. The four-count suit alleges violations of California Labor Code, breach of contract, wrongful termination and defamation, and seeks damages, interest and costs. O'Neill is attached to all four counts. Ambriz is associated solely with wrongful termination and violations under the California labor code.
Defendants' Response: Grupo Radio Centro LA LCC, denies all charges, stating that O'Neill was terminated for failing to meet sales goals and alleging that he was an under-performing employee who harassed other employees.
The case is Sean O Neill et al v. Grupo Radio Centro LA LLC et al, case number 2:15-cv-06116, in the US District Court for the Central District of California.
Wrongful Termination in California
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