The Tashnizi Law Firm Files Wrongful Termination Suit on Behalf of Former California Lutheran University Employee

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The Tashnizi Law Firm has filed a case on behalf of Mr. Jeff Phillips against California Lutheran University ("CLU") in Ventura County Superior Court, California (Case No: 56-2015-00462698-CU-WT-VTA). This case alleges disability discrimination and other related claims and that he was misclassified as an independent contractor and CLU owes him damages including, but not limited to, economic and emotional damages, punitive damages, wages and overtime wages.

Mr. Jeff Phillips, a 63 year old man with disabilities, has sued California Lutheran University (“CLU”), and two individuals, in Ventura County Superior Court, California, Case # 56-2015-00462698-CU-WT-VTA, for alleged disability discrimination, failure to provide reasonable accommodation, failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation, retaliation, harassment and defamation. In his complaint filed with the court, Mr. Phillips alleges that he was terminated after he complained about the discrimination, harassment and retaliation. The complaint also alleges that CLU failed to fully investigate his complaints of harassment and discrimination he received at work. The complaint filed with the court further alleges that in the process he was defamed, humiliated, and made to feel dumb because he could not spell certain words or use a computer because he was dyslexic. The suit also alleges that he was accused of stealing artwork.

The complaint alleges that CLU hired Mr. Phillips as an independent contractor as a curator while records show that he was an employee. The suit alleges, however, CLU misclassified Mr. Phillips as an independent contractor to deny him certain rights that employees are entitled to, including, but not limited to, the California laws protecting disabled employees. In addition, in his complaint filed with the court, Mr. Phillips alleges that because he was misclassified as an independent contractor, CLU owes him wages including, but not limited to, overtime wages.

According to court documents, Mr. Phillips’ professional reputation was further damaged and he was defamed due to his removal and forced cancelation of the ongoing education and community programming he was responsible for and the commitments he had made to on behalf of CLU, with CLU’s prior consent.

The suit further alleges that due to the cancelation of the scheduled 2015 exhibitions which included, but not limited to, The Getty Museum, The Hilton Foundation, The Republic of China, The Reagan Foundation, Community leaders, Major artists, Cheech Marin, CLU Regents, Wealthy private collectors, and Civic Arts Plaza, Mr. Phillips has suffered irreparable harm to his curatorial practice, career, and his reputation.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for loss of income as well as physical, mental, and emotional distress.

For inquiries please contact:
The Tashnizi Law Firm
Paul P. Tashnizi
200 N. Westlake Blvd., Suite 204
Westlake Village, CA 91362

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Paul Tashnizi
The Tashnizi Law Firm
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