When workers in California and across the country witness illegal acts occurring in the workplace, they have the right to speak up and blow the whistle. Unfortunately, employers can and do retaliate against employees for speaking up, which often results in the termination of the whistleblowing employee. However, all states have laws that protect whistleblowers from retaliation by employers. Recently, a man in another state filed a lawsuit against a former employer after he was allegedly fired for exposing improper conduct.
The plaintiff is a former employee of a school district in another state. He claims that he exposed illegal activities committed by his Chief Operating Officer and was retaliated against for doing so. According to the lawsuit, these illegal activities included theft of school property, improper payments from vendors and falsification of time cards.
Allegedly, after bringing these illegal activities to light, the plaintiff was forced to resign from his position. The plaintiff accuses the defendant of wrongful termination and violating his state’s whistleblower statute. He seeks lost wages as well as retirement and health benefits. The COO remains in his position and denies the allegations, although he was recently investigated by police for the alleged theft of property.
Stringent laws are in place in the state of California to protect employees from facing retaliation for speaking up about illegal activities in the workplace. When workers are subjected such things as harassment and retaliation in the workplace, they can take legal action. A successfully litigated lawsuit could result in reimbursement of all lost wages and benefits, as well as reinstatement.
Source: desmoinesregister.com, “Waukee schools, COO sued for wrongful termination in whistle blower case“, Kim Norvell, Sept. 27, 2017