In two separate cases this month, whistleblowers who had been retaliated against by their employers were vindicated by the US government for standing by their principles. Let’s take a look at these winning whistleblower cases.
Anonymouse Whistleblower Gets Back Pay and Damages from JPMorgan Chase
New York-based financial firm JPMorgan Chase was ordered by the US Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to pay out roughly $200,000 to an unnamed whistleblower. OSHA ordered JPMorgan to pay the employee whistleblower back pay, medical expenses, and compensatory damages.
While working as a operations manager at a New Jersey office for JPMorgan, the employee blew the whistle on the improper way the firm was reporting loans to government regulators. When JPMorgan asked the employee to lie about the transaction reports in order to pass a compliance test, the employee refused and was fired.
Part of OSHA’s ruling in this whistleblower case also requires the investment firm to reinstate the employee to the job he held at the time of his firing.
Whistleblower Prompts VA Medical Center to Follow the Rules
In another whistleblower case, a judge ordered reinstatement of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employee who had blown the whistle on improper sterilization of medical tools. Lisa Magin, a medical supply technician working for the VA’s Affairs Sterile Processing Service, had reported that some coworkers had taken shortcuts or skipped rules while performing their jobs.
The reported coworkers were angry with Magin for fingering them. The hostile actions of these coworkers resulted in Magin refusing to come back from medical leave and subsequently being fired in March 2013. Magin said, “They just made it seem like I was the problem, and all I wanted to do was make sure that we were doing the right thing.”
The VA has since corrected some of the issues that Magin reported. Commenting on the US Office of Special Counsel’s investigation, the VA’s Medical Performance Manager said, “People make mistakes.” An administrative judge ruled that, although Magin wasn’t fired in retaliation per se, her termination resulted from a hostile work environment due to protected whistleblower activity. Magin’s whistleblower case resulted in a triumph for her: she was awarded back pay from 2013, including interest and benefits, and was hired back to her job.
If you’ve been the victim of whistleblower retaliation, now is the time to speak up. Talk to our lawyers about your whistleblower case.