Partner Sharon Vinick, along with co-counsel Jennifer Liu and Rebecca Peterson-Fisher of The Liu Law Firm PC, have filed a case on behalf of Carlo Teruel, a firefighter who worked for the American Canyon Fire Protection District and the City of America Canyon. Mr. Teruel came to work in American Canyon after previously serving as a firefighter for the City of Berkeley. The complaint alleges that Mr. Teruel was terminated because he exercised his legal right to take time off to care for the medical needs of his wife and two small children. Approximately one month before Mr. Teruel was to complete his probationary period and become a permanent employee, the Fire Protection District fired him without warning or explanation.
The lawsuit includes claims that the employer committed violations of the California Family Rights Act and the California Kin Care Act (Labor Code Section 233). The complaint also asserts that the termination discriminated against Mr. Teruel because he is a male caregiver and because the employer expected him to conform to gender stereotypes of men acting as breadwinners and not caregivers for their children.