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Worker claims she was terminated for following public record laws

California employees may be interested to learn that the former head of the City of San Diego's Public Records Department claimed in a lawsuit that she was fired for refusing to bend public record laws during the 2017 Hepatitis A outbreak. The former employee filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the City's Risk Management Department at the end of January.

The former head had reportedly worked for the city of San Diego for more than 18 years, during which she filled a number of roles. She began as a deputy city attorney and later became the program manager. Her roles included overseeing the release of public records. However, she was suddenly fired from her position on Nov. 17, 2017. The termination came just weeks after documents were released to a news agency that had filed public records requests.

According to the former head, the procedures for issuing public documents changed in August 2017 following the outbreak of Hepatitis A. After she released the records to a news agency, her boss told her that any Hepatitis A-related documents would be reviewed prior to being released. While those procedures were implemented, the former head still released comments regarding the city's poor handling of the outbreak, which the former head claims resulted in termination.

Some employers may try to bend the laws, particularly when it comes to keeping financial records or health records. If an employee refuses to break the law or reports the employer for misbehavior, some employers may retaliate by terminating the employee. An attorney may help an employee file a wrongful termination lawsuit against the employer by gathering evidence to demonstrate that the termination was done to retaliate against the worker.

Source: NBC San Diego, "San Diego Records Manager Fired Over Hepatitis A Disclosures, Claim States", Dorian Hargrove and Tom Jones, 06/04/2018

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