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City employee says she faced retaliation for following protocol

For some workers in San Diego, there is often a choice between following the law and doing what the employer wants. If the worker decides to adhere to the law, he or she runs the risk of facing some form of retaliation by the employer. That can even lead to dismissal. This is even worse when the employer is a government agency. When this happens, people might believe they have nowhere to turn. Fortunately, they have the right to seek compensation in a legal filing over the mistreatment on the part of their employers.

According to a recent report, a woman who worked as the head of the Public Records Department claims that the city exerted pressure on her to violate the law regarding the release of information following an outbreak of Hepatitis A. After she refused, she was dismissed. This came to light after she filed a wrongful termination lawsuit. The filing was made in late January and the California Public Records act allowed news agencies to see it. The woman had been a city employee for nearly two decades. In November of 2017, she was fired after documents were released revealing how the city responded to the outbreak of Hepatitis A. Hundreds of people needed hospitalization and 20 died.

The woman says that post-outbreak, the way the city dealt with requests for public records was altered. Before, she adhered to the guidelines that were established and had been in place. That was changed in August of 2017 after the news of the Hepatitis A outbreak spread. After she released the documents based on the law and agency protocol, she was told that her superior would review the documents before release. There was a disagreement as to what the law said about releasing them and what her boss wanted. The woman was put on administrative leave and later dismissed.

Workers can be put in a difficult circumstance when they are told to do something they believe is a legal violation with the possibility that their job will be in jeopardy if they do not follow through. Workers who believe they have an obligation to follow the law and do so, and then find themselves facing harassment or wrongful termination, should be aware of their rights to seek compensation. A law firm that is experienced in many different areas of employment law may be of assistance in such a case.


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