It can take a lot of courage to stand up for what is right. In some cases, that may mean filing complaints about one’s employer for unjust actions. If that person faces retaliation, it could lead to legal action and the need for whistleblower protection.
Oregon readers may be interested in a case that recently came to a settlement involving a former city employee in another state. According to reports, the former investigator for the city’s police complaint commission filed his own complaint about bias in the department that resulted in discrimination against minorities. The man claims that he was told by his supervisor to ignore complaints from Latino residents regarding certain actions, such as sexual misconduct and excessive force.
The man filed a complaint in 2009 stating that the city dismissed him from his job for speaking out against the pro-police bias and the fact that the commission did not properly investigate complaints from minorities. The man’s case went to trial in 2013, and the initial judgment ruled in favor of the city. However, the man appealed that ruling, and in 2018, he was awarded $736,000 plus court costs as the court determined that the city had violated state whistleblower protections. The city attempted to have a new trial to achieve a reduction in the award, but the request was denied. The city has since decided to settle for a total of $775,000.
Many people who must answer to others often feel as if they do not have any power. However, filing a complaint about wrongdoing in the workplace could go a long way in ensuring that injustice is investigated. If Oregon workers face retaliation for their complaints, they may want to gain information on whistleblower protection and determine whether they may have reason to take their cases further.