Manufacturers, distributors and companies are supposed to provide Wisconsin consumers with safe and effective products. When products are demonstrably dangerous or defective, these entities should take action to warn consumers and remove them from circulation. This does not always happen. A former executive at Juul claims that the company retaliated against him when he tried to raise the alarm about tainted products, and was wrongfully fired as a result.
The company Juul sells e-cigarettes and flavor pods for those products. Out of alleged concern that minors were purchasing and using its e-cigarettes, the company discontinued its line of sweet flavors, including mango and creme. It continued to sell the mint-flavored pods, which the company’s former senior vice president of finance said became underage users’ new favorite flavor. In Sept. 2018, mint accounted for approximately 33% of pod sales, which shot up to around 66% by Feb. 2019.
Not only was the former executive concerned about minors still using the product, he was also worried about customer safety. According to a wrongful termination lawsuit, Juul was fully aware that it sold approximately one million mint pods that were contaminated, but refused to do anything about it. When he tried to get the company to take actions he was allegedly threatened with violence and later fired. His lawsuit also detailed a toxic work culture that thrived on intimidation, which is unfortunately not uncommon in situations involving discrimination or termination.
Employers in Wisconsin may retaliate against workers for any number of reasons, including things like reporting sexual harassment, raising concern over dangerous products or even perceived slights. Being retaliated against is not only emotionally distressing, it can also result in economic damages from lost wages and missed opportunities. For this former executive, holding his old company responsible for its actions can also help him recover compensation for those financial damages.