Although the television show Desperate Housewives has ended, implications from events that occurred while the show was airing are still surfacing. Specifically, the potential wrongful termination of one of the main characters Nicollette Sheridan is still being debated.
As recent as last week, a judge determined Nicollette Sheridan’s termination from the television show was not a wrongful termination. The rationale that supports the finding is based on the conclusion that her employment was not in fact terminated by the employer. The appeals court that heard her case determined she was not actually terminated, but instead chose to leave the show after her employment contract was not renewed. The television network’s decision to not renew her employment contract was determined not to be a termination or employment discharge, but simply a choice not to renew a contract.
Since the court ruled in a 10 page decision that there was no actual employment termination, Nicollette Sheridan would not have a cause of action to support a wrongful termination claim. The court did point out that although there is no cause of action for a wrongful termination claim, Nicollette Sheridan may be able to pursue a retaliation claim against her previous employer.
Even though the appeals court indicated Nicollette Sheridan may have a cause of action for a retaliation claim against her previous employer, the statement does not predict an outcome for such a claim. In response to the assertion of a retaliation claim, the television network stated it expects to be victorious in any continued legal pursuit on this topic.
Source: CBS News, “Court: ‘Desperate Housewives’ star wasn’t fired,” Aug. 17, 2012