Employees should feel that they will be heard and trusted by the employer and managers if they find a problem in the workplace. In the case of public services, this trust becomes the foundation of the people’s health and safety — and ignorance of problems is doubly inexcusable.
An economy as diverse and vibrant as California’s relies on good public services as much as the people do. If someone is demoted or dismissed for reporting a hazard, he or she may have the basis for a wrongful termination or retaliation suit against his or her current or former employer.
A former administrative judge with a California state commission is filing such a suit against her former employer, alleging retaliation for whistleblowing and a systemic racial bias in the commission’s operations.
An investigation into a lethal gas line explosion seven years ago laid bare a system of bias in how public contracts would be awarded and the commission’s inability to police safety throughout its contracted jobs.
The plaintiff and judges in her department cooperated with the investigation. She later reported that she was fired for reporting unethical conduct to investigators in-line with their accounting.
She also alleges that she and other African-American members of her 40-strong staff of judges were treated with racial bias by the agency and some of its leaders. Agency staff raised concerns about gender-based discrimination in an unrelated complaint two years ago.
Legal representation is a helpful aid to employees and former employees who believe they have been victims of wrongful termination, workplace discrimination or other forms of unlawful or actionable bias.
Source: KQED, “Former Judge Accuses CPUC of Wrongful Termination, Racial Bias,” Lisa Pickoff-White, Sep. 19, 2017