A court ruled against a Wisconsin restaurant that fired a cook for complaining about a racist display at work, and awarded the former employee damages including back wages with interest. The display featured a dollar bill that had a drawing of a hooded figure with the words "KKK" on the hood, another man on a horse and a noose around George Washington's neck. The lawsuit had been brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of the terminated employee.
Many employees might not be aware that they may be able to sue for damages if they were the victim of wrongful discharge for complaining about something in the workplace. Although this incident involved a display that was racially offensive, employers also wrongfully terminate employees for such things as bringing a complaint about something forward or even requesting time off.
Workers are protected by federal and state laws from retaliatory actions by their employer. Employees who feel that they were wrongfully discharged may wish to consult with an attorney who has experience in employment law in order to determine if there may be available redress.
Source: WQOW, "Menomonie restaurant ordered to pay former employee more than $56,000", Amie Winters, February 05, 2014