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Former Playboy playmate settles claim with politician

A wrongful termination lawsuit can involve all types of workplaces and employees. The former Playmate of the Month for May 1986 settled civil litigation against an Orange County Supervisor for $150,000 last month.

She filed the lawsuit against Orange County in the California Superior Court in March. Her allegations include that she had to endure an extremely stressful workplace because of the supervisor's unrealistic demands. She also charged disability discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

She claimed that the supervisor created this stressful environment because of his unrealistic demands and his temper toward his employees. Although she was not directly supervised by this official, she had to contend with his practice of management through fear and intimidation.

In her suit, she charged that she suffered hair and weight loss, depression and other health issues. Her request for transfer was denied and she was told no employee can leave this workplace unless she was fired.

In addition to her other allegations, the employee alleged that the county did not pay overtime and minimum wages for the time she worked as an executive aid to the supervisor. She had to be always available and sometimes worked 24-shifts without adequate compensation.

The supervisor denied these allegations and claimed that she could not obtain a civil service position with the county despite their assistance. He also accused her of seeking money because she could not learn fundamental computer skills that would have allowed her to stay with the supervisor on favorable terms or obtain another position.

Under the settlement, the county had to pay $150,000 to the plaintiff by Oct. 17. In return, she will drop all claims against the defendants relating to her employment and termination. The board approved the settlement on Sept. 26.

The county said that the case was settled to resolve technical overtime and at-will employment issues. It claimed that it was based upon a business decision to protect it from additional lawsuits. The county also said that it initiated personnel policies to avoid these types of lawsuits.

An attorney can help an employee seeking redress for an unlawful termination or other employment practice. A lawyer can help obtain evidence and pursue reasonable legal remedies.

Source: Bloomberg BNA, "Ex-Playmate, aide to Calif. politician gets $150K after firing," By David McAfee, Sept. 27, 2017

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