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Sterling Employment Law

Nicollette Sheridan given new trial

Michigan viewers may be following the actions of television star Nicollette Sheridan who will get another day in court with her former employers: the creator, the producer and the broadcaster of 'Desperate Housewives." Sheridan had sued Marc Cherry, Touchstone and ABC in 2010, but the trial ended in a hung jury.

Sheridan had been seeking $20 million in damages, claiming that she was removed from the show because she objected to being hit on the head by Cherry during a discussion on the set. A California appellate court ruled that she was not fired but that instead her contract had not been renewed, with the court advising her to refile a claim under the California Labor Code. Upon rehearing, the earlier ruling was overturned, and her case will continue.

Not every dismissal from a job makes the news, nor is every removal from a work position illegal, but some are. If a person who has been fired or terminated from work feels that discrimination or retaliation is the cause or a factor in the dismissal, this could constitute a violation of applicable state or federal statutes.

In order to build support for a case of wrongful termination, most likely documentation will have to be collected from the employer, perhaps including an interview with former co-workers and managers followed by a review and evaluation of the evidence. An attorney with experience in employment law may be able to guide a client through this process. An employee who is still on the job but feels that he or she is being victimized may also want to consult with an employment law attorney to learn what options may be available.

Source: USA Today, "Nicollette Sheridan granted new 'Housewives' trial", Ann Oldenburg, January 30, 2014

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