Employees throughout California and around the country hope they have the freedom to speak up about situations in the workplace that need improvement. For example, calling attention to staffing shortages does not seem to be an inflammatory report. However, a physician in another state contended that he lost his job because of that action. Recently, he was awarded $29 million in a wrongful termination lawsuit he had filed against his former employer.
The man had been the emergency department medical director of a hospital. In 2016, the medical facility also opened a pediatric emergency room, staffed overnight by the same physician who covered the adult ER. The physician raised concerns about patient safety due to the lack of staff on call. He also stated that some of the hospital's promotional information was misleading.
After the concerns were raised, no changes were made to staffing; in fact, the man reported that his management became angry at him for complaining. According to the lawsuit against the physician outsourcing company, he was told to resign or he would be terminated. When he did not resign, he was fired without cause. The former physician was awarded $9 million in actual damages in addition to $20 million in punitive damages. A spokesperson from the company stated that it planned to appeal the verdict.
When someone has lost a job in a suspected wrongful termination, he or she may consider filing a lawsuit against a former employer. A trusted lawyer will evaluate the situation and recommend how to proceed. A California employment law attorney will work with a client to achieve the best possible outcome in a lawsuit.