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Wrongful discharge suit targets business, city and councilwoman

Allegations of wrongful discharge can have a negative impact on the reputation of a business and ultimately affect its productivity. In a recent case, an employee of a substance abuse center sued the center, a councilwoman and the city of Detroit after being fired.

Now, the city of Detroit is being forced to pay money in order to settle the wrongful discharge suit filed by a man that was unlawfully let go by a Detroit City Council member in 2009. A lawyer representing the man said that a deal is on the table, but did not disclose the amount and has not yet accepted it.

The plaintiff in the case was an employee at the Mariners Inn substance abuse center and claims that a councilwoman fired him because he politically opposed her. The plaintiff was lobbying to have the councilwoman recalled from her position in 2009. He claims he was fired after the councilwoman pressured his employer to do so.

The plaintiff identified the councilwoman, the substance abuse center and city of Detroit as defendants in the wrongful termination suit. The councilwoman denied any wrongdoing and says she had immunity on the matter. A U.S. district judge ruled that claim down, saying she was not entitled to immunity and that firing someone was outside of her scope of authority.

When a business is faced with a wrongful discharge lawsuit, the allegations and circumstances of the case need to be carefully examined. Frequently, it is possible to identify legal strategies that may bring a resolution that avoids the expense and time commitment of litigation.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Detroit to settle suit alleging unlawful behavior by Monica Conyers," Tresa Baldas, Nov. 7, 2011

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