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Hallmark channel director suing for wrongful termination

A former Hallmark channel director for the "Home & Family" TV show was fired from his job on July 24. He believes he was wrongfully terminated for his age. Home & Family is a show that airs on weekdays on the Hallmark channel. It is a two-hour long program hosted by Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines. The program occasionally has specials airing in primetime.

The former director has filed a lawsuit against Crown Media United States, LLC, owner of the Hallmark Channel, and against Woody Fraser, Woody Fraser Productions, Inc., and Woody Fraser Enterprises, Inc., stating that he was harassed for his age. He not only alleges age discrimination, but retaliation, defamation, negligent supervision and retention, and wrongful termination of his job. Woody Fraser, the executive producer of the program was the former director's boss.

The 64-year-old began working for the executive producer of the show in 2012. During his three seasons directing production of the show, the former director claims that he "performed exemplary." According to the lawsuit, he claims he was "harassed and abused" due to his age. He was made to feel as if his age was unwanted. According to the former director, his boss depicted him often using a certain epithet and once gave him a pillow that had a picture of a rooster and the epithet on it as a gift. The producer also criticized his direction of a primetime special in a letter. He claimed that the director had caused "incalculable damage" to the show and that his work was "slipshod."

According to the former director, the employee hired to replace him was much younger and not as qualified. He also claims that his employer should have provided more supervision. He has not been able to find other employment since being terminated.

In the State of California and most other states, employers have a right to terminate employees at will, but they do not have a right to terminate, fire or force an employee to resign because of discrimination or retaliation. If you have been terminated due to discrimination, or had to resign from a position because of a hostile work environment, you have a right to take legal action. Employers need to treat all employees fairly and with respect.

Source: Calabasas Patch, "Fired Director, Claiming Agism, Suing Producer for Wrongful Termination," Alexander Nguyen, Dec. 24, 2015

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