Margarita Hernandez filed a lawsuit against IMAX for wrongful termination. Hernandez, a former company lawyer at IMAX, claims that she was fired because she is Latina. Her suit also alleges racial and disability discrimination and harassment. Hernandez also claims that she was retaliated against for her age.
Hernandez started working at IMAX in 2016 as one of the company’s in-house counsels. In 2017, she was promoted to a vice president where she was in charge of the distribution agreements for major film studios such as Warner Bros., Universal, Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, and those from other countries worldwide.
According to her suit, Hernandez states that in 2017, IMAX started firing older employees and replaced them with younger and cheaper employees. She says that since that year, the company had fired more than ten employees who were older than 40 years old.
Hernandez claims that her workload and responsibilities increased but was not allowed to hire assistants without the approval of upper management, even though the lawyer she replaced was given the freedom and budget to hire help. She also claims that IMAX required her to hire and train junior attorneys who were relatives of upper management.
In January 2019, she needed foot surgery and requested five days off for it and for the recovery. Her request was denied. Instead, IMAX had her train a new employee to take charge of the entertainment division.
In June 2019, IMAX brought in a white male attorney. Although he was in the same position as Hernandez, she claims that he was treated better than her despite him having less experience.
Hernandez took time off to care for her sick mother, and just weeks after that, she was fired. According to Hernandez, IMAX told her the company “is going in a different direction”. She was given two weeks to turn her work over to other employees.
Until her termination in January 2020, Hernandez worked seventy to eighty hours a week. She also worked on weekends and during vacations. Hernandez claims that IMAX did not pay her all her wages in her final paycheck.
Discrimination at the workplace is illegal. All workers are protected by law against any form of workplace discrimination. If you believe you are a victim of wrongful termination because of your race, call our discrimination and wrongful termination lawyers at Mesriani Law Group and will evaluate your claims at no cost to you. Our lawyers have decades of experience in defending the rights of employees who are victims of illegal dismissal and racial discrimination.