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Worker Says He Was Fired for Taking Time Off to Care for Dying Wife

Fired for Taking Time Off

A Lawrence, Mass. city worker was fired from his public works job for allegedly taking too much time off to care for his dying wife. According to a news report in The Lookout, Tom Sapienza is preparing to file an employment lawsuit alleging reverse racial discrimination. His attorneys say that Sapienza, a 41-year-old maintenance worker at Lawrence High School, would not have been fired had he been of a different race. Sapienza was fired after refusing to return from an unpaid leave of absence that he took to care for his wife, Heather, who died January 3, 2013 after a 19-month battle with brain cancer.

The man who was hired to replace Sapienza was fired police sergeant and former state Rep. Jose Santiago. Santiago has apparently been arrested for violating a restraining order obtained by his ex-girlfriend. City Council members are now calling for Santiago’s firing as well.

What is Reverse Discrimination

Reverse discrimination is a term that describes social discrimination against members of a historically dominant group. It is common for reverse discrimination claims to stem from affirmative action policies created to increase diversity in the workplace. In many countries, reverse discrimination is illegal. However, in the United States, these laws can become challenging because affirmative action assisting minorities is required under federal law. The law also states that any person who benefits from affirmative action in the workplace must have relevant job and educational qualifications.

Discrimination in the Workplace

However, employment termination solely based on race is against the law. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1965, all Americans are protected from all forms of employment discrimination based on sex, race, religion, national origin, gender, etc. U.S. courts now recognize that the law protects all Americans, not just minorities. Reverse discrimination comprises a small percentage of workplace discrimination cases.

If you believe that you are the victim of reverse discrimination in the workplace, it is important that you solicit the advise of an experienced California employment lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases. Employees affected by discrimination and individuals who have been wrongfully terminated deserve justice and fair compensation.

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