Reporting improper behavior in the workplace can be stressful. Although Wisconsin workers likely hope that whistleblowing will help, most understand that doing the right thing can have consequences. Retaliation and even wrongful termination are not uncommon experiences for whistleblowers, but victims have options to pursue just compensation for their damages.
An out-of-state man is pursuing a whistleblower lawsuit against his former employer. The events leading up to the alleged retaliation started in 2016, when an executive at the career and technology center where he worked asked him -- the computer systems administrator -- to perform necessary repairs on her computer. He removed her computer's hard drive and replaced it, then placed the old drive in his personal office.
In March 2017, a co-worker told him that the executive director had used her cellphone to show explicit images to some of the staff. Concerned that this may have been an ongoing issue, he took her computer's old hard drive home to review the contents to prevent potentially contaminating the computer system at the school. He found that the hard drive did contain inappropriate images and anonymously provided the images and complaint to a supervisor.
Higher-ups apparently gave the executive director the ability to resign rather than firing her. However, things did not stop there. Once confronted about whether he was the anonymous whistleblower, the man admitted that he was the one who found the images and complained. He was then fired for taking school property home.
His suit seeks compensation for more than just back wages. Like others who have spent years building a career then seen it all disappear because of whistleblowing, he is also hoping to recover compensation for fringe benefits and missed pension. These types of suits are essential for Wisconsin whistleblowers who put their careers and financial well-being on the line by making just and reasonable work-related complaints.
Source: wjactv.com, "Ex-CCCTC employee files whistleblower suit, saying he was fired for retaliation", Matthew Stevens, Jan. 5, 2018