2 whistleblower suits filed after employees claim retaliation

People naturally think that if they do good deeds, they will be rewarded. Meanwhile, those who do bad deeds should be punished. However, things don’t always work like this in Wisconsin. A whistleblower may feel as though he or she is committing a good act in society by calling attention to an immoral or unethical situation. In reality, rewarding the whistleblower likely is the farthest thing from the mind of an employer who is the subject of the whistleblowing situation.

In a recent out-of-state case, an individual filed a lawsuit against a town due to a situation involving the police department. This is actually the second suit that has been brought against the municipality. In the first case, a former female dispatcher who was fired was awarded $25,000 after suing for breach of contract and whistleblower retaliation.

The dispatcher said she was intimidated and harassed by others above her in the police department. This occurred after she spoke up about a dispatcher and officer’s repeated sexually explicit talks in the workplace. In the second situation, which is related to the first case, a former police officer — who happened to be male — was harassed and then demoted and terminated. This happened after he told a police chief that a supervisor of the female dispatcher had called her a name, according to the claim. The police officer currently is suing for wrongful termination, whistleblower retaliation and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

When a Wisconsin company retaliates against a whistleblowing worker, the employee may rightfully decide to file a lawsuit against the business. A financial award may result from a claim that is established by appropriate evidence in court. However, in order for the plaintiff to win, there must be proof by a preponderance of the evidence that the employer indeed discriminated against and/or harassed the whistleblower.

Source: azstarnet.com, “2nd whistleblower lawsuit filed against Marana, police chief“, Kimberly Matas, April 14, 2014

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