A former sales manager at a car dealership recently settled a wrongful termination lawsuit that he filed against the dealership to the tune of $2.1 million. The sales manager, Chris Azzaro, was fired in 2013 and filed his wrongful termination lawsuit two years later in 2015. When he filed the lawsuit, the dealership suddenly accused Azzaro of embezzling $300,000 in company funds. Those criminal allegations would later be dismissed, and Azzaro's lawsuit would be amended to include malicious prosecution on the part of the auto dealership, John Howard Motors.
Azzaro says that he always performed the duties his job required and that he fulfilled the reasonable expectations of the dealership. He was fired after he raised concerns regarding health and safety at the dealership, as well as a scheme to improperly sell vehicles to avoid paying taxes.
The defamatory charges leveled by the dealership after Azzaro filed his wrongful termination lawsuit were just the icing on the cake for this negligent and disturbing period for the John Howard Motors dealership. The $2.1 million settlement was agreed to just one day before the case was set to go to trial. It also reflects the severity of the actions taken by John Howard Motors.
While your employment is always in a tenuous position under at-will employment laws, your employer doesn't have unwavering power over you. They can't retaliate against you or terminate you under wrongful circumstances. If you have been affected in this way, you should consult with an attorney.
Source: West Virginia Record, "$2.1 million settlement reached in wrongful termination lawsuit," Kyla Asbury, Aug. 7, 2017