A lawsuit against the Shasta County Jail in northern California has achieved class Actions status, according to the Legal Reader. The suit, filed in Sacramento’s Federal District Court by a number of disabled inmates, alleges numerous violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The suit claims that the jail has inadequate facilities for disabled prisoners, including a lack of handle bars in showers, and doorways too narrow to accommodate wheelchairs. A lack of wheelchair seating in classrooms. The action also claims that disabled inmates , forced to traverse numerous barriers with little or no assistance and placed on 23 hours-a-day . Conditions were so bad, some of the plaintiffs claimed, that the inmates could not shower, sleep, or be mobile. Guards to have threatened to withhold medication if the prisoners complained.
The designation of the suit as a class action means that any disabled inmate, current or former, can join in the civil action and seek redress for the alleged violations.
Shasta County seemstaking a benign attitude toward the lawsuit, perhaps in recognition that it has a problem with its jail. The county , Jim Ross, declined to oppose the motion to make the lawsuit into a class action. In the meantime, jail officials have vowed to work with disability groups to ensure that the conditions alleged present at the jail to ensure that disabled inmates with dignity as the law mandates. No word exists as of this writing whether or when the suit or go to trial.
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What does “Wrongful Termination” mean?
It’s important to note that wrongful termination means something very specific in legal terms. Simply being fired for unethical reasons isn’t enough of a reason to pursue a legal case against your employer. In order to win in the courts you have to show that you were terminated because of discrimination against your race, ethnicity, gender, disability, or due to religious beliefs. Being terminated for the act of whistle-blowing against your employer is grounds for legal action.
The concept of at-will and your rights
Employment in all states except Montana is considered “at-will” and ultimately subject to the whims of your employer. Termination over your race, gender, etc, or for retaliatory purposes such as punishing a whistle-blower, is against the law. However, if a contract that emphasizes job security exists between you and your employer, then at-will does not apply. Assurances of job security through conversation can also be a substitute for a contract in the event that one doesn’t exist.
Protection against retaliation
Your employer does not have the legal right to terminate you for reporting sexual harassment or for other types of activities such as jury duty or taking medical leave. Terminating an employee for serving in the military, being absent from work to vote, and trying to establish a labor union would all be considered retaliation and punishable by law.
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