San Francisco DA office investigator files wrongful termination suit for age discrimination

A former employee of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon for alleged age discrimination against her and for firing her without cause.

Natividad Ramirez was terminated from her position as an investigator at the District Attorney’s Office in Aug. 2014 at the age of 59. She was promoted five times since she started employment in July 1985. The lawsuit states that when she was fired, Ramirez was only 10 months away from receiving a retirement benefit for individuals who retire at 60.

A few weeks prior to her termination, the office launched an investigation concerning Ramirez’s attendance. However, the suit claims the “investigation was simply pretext for its (the office’s) unlawful decision to terminate the plaintiff because of her age.”

The complaint alleges it is a common practice for the office to terminate older workers to hire a “younger, more inexpensive workforce” instead. The employee who replaced Ramirez was less experienced, almost half her age and was paid substantially less. According to the suit, Ramirez experienced distress and humiliation due to her termination. In addition, she lost wages and employee benefits, as well as incurred attorney’s fees.

There are many state and federal laws that protect employees who have been terminated for illegal reasons. In California, it is unlawful for an employer to fire an employee due to discrimination on the basis of factors such as race, gender, sexual orientation or age, among others. Termination based on discriminatory reasons is known as wrongful termination. A wrongfully terminated employee may file a claim in order to receive lost wages and benefits, in addition to damages for emotional distress.

If you feel that you may have been wrongfully terminated for any reason, contact the employment law experts at McCormack & Erlich for a free evaluation. Call us at 415.296.8420.