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Whistleblowers who are terminated may choose to file suits

A former university vice chancellor in another state recently claimed that he wrongfully lost his job for calling attention to the school chancellor's luxury automobile, among other things. He has thus filed a whistleblower suit against the university as well as the chancellor himself. Whistleblowers in the Bay Area likewise have the right to file lawsuits if they are wrongfully terminated for speaking up about illegal or unethical goings-on in their companies.

In the out-of-state case, the former vice chancellor asserted that, not only was a luxury SUV purchased for the chancellor with state funds, but also the chancellor attempted to steer a contract to a developer. The contract was valued at between $90 million and $120 million. According to the lawsuit, the chancellor and university board members took part in secretive meetings to explore a private-public partnership with this other company.

The former vice chancellor claimed that he told these individuals that they were supposed to run a competitive, fair and open bidding process instead. He reportedly ended up sharing his concerns with a university trustee. He later got a letter stating that his job was being eliminated because the chancellor was changing his strategic direction.

Employees in the Bay Area may be protected as whistleblowers if they in good faith believe that their companies are not following the law and they thus report this internally or externally. Every case is unique, and addressing such a case properly can be complex. However, an attorney can provide the guidance needed to improve a whistleblower's chances of prevailing in his or her case.

Source: newsobserver.com, "NCCU whistleblower lawsuit alleges misspending, including luxury car", Jane Stancill, April 18, 2018

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