Whistleblowing at the Architectural Firm
Minneapolis, MN civil litigation attorney Tony Edwards talks about a case he took on that stands out.
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We had a gentleman that came to see us who wanted us to represent him. He’d been working for a major architectural firm here locally and had been doing work primarily in designing stores and regional distribution facilities for a major retailer. In one instance in Iowa, he had designed a production facility that included a firewall. At the facility they had one room that was used as a battery-charging room, and he felt that for safety reasons they needed to have a wall that would barrier that room off in case of a fire from the remainder of the facility. He was told to take that wall out, and he refused. He said he wouldn’t sign plans in which the wall wasn’t included, and the next day he was fired. Now obviously those were pretty strong facts to bolster a whistleblower claim, and obviously, not surprisingly, as employers do, they said, “No, this is a person with a history of performance issues.” Well that was – it was born out from his employment records that that wasn’t true, and ultimately we were able to leverage that into a very favorable outcome for him, just on the strengths of those facts and on the matter in which we used his personnel file to show that this was a guy who had had a really unblemished tract record, a long track record of success, and so it was a very good outcome for him.