One former California Walgreens worker is suing the large drugstore chain after the senior maintenance mechanic was fired from his job. The man told another co-worker that a “wet vac” was needed to clean up spilled products on the floor at a warehouse for the company. This is a device often used to vacuum up spilled liquids. However, the employee who heard the request thought that he had used a racial slur and reported him to the company. The man was suspended the next day and then fired. He was not given a chance to respond to the allegation or explain the misunderstanding, he said.
The wrongful termination lawsuit claims that the 50-year-old worker was well-liked by his colleagues. It says that the company wrongfully said that he was a bigot and did not suitably investigate the incident. In addition, the case says that the company defamed the man and discriminated against him on the basis of race and national origin. The company would not comment to reporters about the case but said in court that even if the man’s allegations were true, Walgreens had not violated any of his protected rights.
The man said that no real investigation took place, but he was told that he was fired as a result of an investigation. Since being fired in December 2018, he says that he has been unable to to find a comparable job. He has had difficulty explaining the termination to other potential employers and said that many companies are wary of hiring him as a result.
In an employment situation, it can seem like the company holds all of the power while workers may find it difficult to defend their rights. An employment law attorney may work with a wrongfully dismissed worker to challenge rights violations in court.