In Wisconsin and across the United States, whistleblower laws exist to protect employees from retaliation for speaking up when they witness inappropriate or illegal activities in the workplace. Whistleblower is a term that is often used to describe a person who reports such activity in the workplace. Recently, a lawsuit was filed by a former aide to Senator Tony Mendoza after she was allegedly fired in retaliation for whistleblowing about his misconduct.
According to the lawsuit, Mendoza made several of his female aides uncomfortable with unwanted flirtatious behavior. The plaintiff claims that Mendoza asked a young female aide to go with him on overnight trips and also invited her to his personal residence, offering to help her with a resume. Allegedly, this made the woman very uncomfortable.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendant displayed a pattern of inappropriate behavior toward young female aides. The plaintiff also claims that she was told by a co-worker that Mendoza has had issues with women in the past. The plaintiff was fired after filing a complaint about the alleged harassment, the lawsuit says.
Retaliatory acts such as this can have profound effects on the mental and emotional well-being of victims. A person should never be punished for reporting misconduct or illegal practices in the workplace. Fortunately, employees in Wisconsin and across the country are protected by law. Those who have been reprimanded for whistleblowing may have the option to take legal action. A successful lawsuit could result in much-needed compensation as well as a sense of justice.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Former aide to Tony Mendoza sues him, California Senate alleging retaliation for whistleblowing", Patrick McGreevy, April 3, 2018