When Maryland employees see something illegal happening in the workplace, their conscience will often tell them to report the activity. However, not all employers agree that honesty is the best policy. They may expect workers to go with the flow and not concern themselves with what others are doing. That was the attitude of some employees at the City of Pittsburgh. When a woman informed her employer of illegal gambling at work, she was retaliated against and eventually fired. The woman fought back, though, and recently received an award of more than $645,000.
The woman was hired by the city in 1989 as a full-time emergency dispatcher. She notified the employer of illegal gambling occurring at the dispatch center in 2003. Her fellow employees retaliated against her until she was fired in March 2004.
The woman appealed the decision. Meanwhile, the city was merging operation with a nearby county. The woman was eligible to include her name on the eligibility list if she prevailed in the appeal. However, the city purposefully did not include her name on the list.
The woman won the appeal and reported for work later that year, but was told there was no job for her. Every other person on the list was hired except for her. She then filed a breach of contract lawsuit and won over $645,000 - the amount experts claim she suffered in damages due to her termination.
Disputes commonly arise between businesses, employees, vendors or customers. business litigation can help resolve these disputes and ensure that the wronged party receives a fair settlement. An employee should not have to face job loss for doing the right thing.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Sheraden woman wins $645,000 from Pittsburgh in breach-of-contract lawsuit" Paula Reed Ward, Jan. 16, 2014