Former Kern High School District Employees Receive $900,000 Settlement for Wrongful Termination Lawsuits

The Kern High School District settled a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by two former employees for $900,000, the details of which were disclosed for the first time on January 7. The employees were both assistant directors for the district’s maintenance and operations department. The two employees sued in September 2011, after being fired. The plaintiffs alleged that they were terminated solely because they called attention to issues with the department awarding maintenance contracts.

Both plaintiffs said they noticed the district began awarding construction jobs to certain companies, as opposed to putting out jobs for formal bid, after a new director of maintenance and operations was hired in 2003. The plaintiffs claim the department was being “wasteful” in their spending and that the construction companies being hired were giving “kickbacks, bribes and improper gifts” to district employees that hired them.

The plaintiffs were fired in 2011 after allegedly receiving negative performance evaluations. The district had reached a tentative deal on the lawsuit in August 2012, but attorneys were reportedly unable to agree on specifics. Finally, in November 2012, specific terms were agreed on, and details were released this month.

All companies involved in the suit deny all accusations of wrongdoing.

Did Your Employer Retaliate Against You?

The California Whistleblower Act, as well as a number of federal laws, protects employees who report their employers or superiors for misconduct or illegal activities from retaliation. If your employer has terminated or retaliated against you for being a whistleblower, our Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys can explain your legal rights and advise you on what to do next. Contact our office today to learn more about your employment rights.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys