The City of Colorado Springs agreed to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit for $250,000, according to KMGH-TV. City employee Terry Velazquez filed the lawsuit in August 2011, claiming she was terminated after she exposed officials misusing city funds. She also accused her department of gender discrimination.
Velazquez alleged that grant money from the El Pomar Foundation was misallocated by administrators. When she raised her concerns to city leaders, she was initially ignored and then ultimately terminated. Velazquez was seeking back pay and general damages. A federal court approved the settlement on April 9.
“The parties mutually agreed that a final settlement would be in the best interest of both parties, allowing them to move forward along separate paths,” read a statement released by Colorado Springs. “There was no admission of any wrongdoing or liability on the part of the City.”
If city officials genuinely believed they did nothing wrong and could prove it to a jury, they likely would not have settled this lawsuit.
Individuals that reports dangerous, illegal or unethical behavior are shielded from retaliations from their employers under whistleblower protection laws. If you have concerns over conduct you have witnessed at work and are concerned for your job security if you report it, call our firm at (310) 273-3180 for a free consultation.
Tip of the week: According to statistics from authors Mary Gorski and Denise Tataryn, employee lawsuits have increased by 400 percent over the last 20 years and 41.5 percent of the lawsuits are filed against private companies with 100 or fewer employees.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys