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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Double Whammy Lawsuit: Wrongful Termination and Breach of Contract

By Dan Atkerson on October 28, 2015

Woman in an interviewDenise Parker, an employee at the National Honorary Beta Club, had been working in administration and data input for 38 years before she was wrongfully terminated. She had no negative marks in her 38-year-long career with the Beta Club and had consistently received positive performance reviews.

In 2013, the Beta Club appointed a new CEO who implemented a much harsher managerial style. Many of the employees became fearful for their jobs. The CEO reportedly issued a vague warning to employees, saying: “there’s a line of people lined up out there in the street waiting on your job.”

Prior to the new CEO’s arrival, Parker was elected to a staff committee that the board of directors went to for employee concerns. During a meeting with the board, Parker was asked to speak about a reprimand she received from the new CEO. She was hesitant to say anything for fear of losing her job, but was assured that she would be protected by the board. Parker was reportedly told by one board member present at the meeting that “if we ask you a question, you have to answer it, and [the CEO] can’t fire you for answering our questioning.”

What’s the Next Step After Wrongful Termination?

However, less than two weeks after being reassured by the board of directors that she was safe, the CEO fired Parker. She rightfully claimed a breach of contract and wrongful termination, and filed a lawsuit against her former employers.

Following a three-day trial in which the Beta Club attempted to prove that Parker was fired for being unprofessional and not getting along with other employees and Parker defended with her own statements backed up by testimonies from other employees, the jury awarded Parker $518,000 for lost wages and benefits and another $350,000 in punitive damages.

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