San Diego Utility Employee Awarded $1.3 Million For Retaliation, Wrongful Termination Claims

According to CBS 8, a jury awarded a former San Diego SDG&E employee $1.3 million after he claimed he was fired for complaining that the utility company was targeting low-income households with delinquent notices to make money.

The station reported that David Bryant, a former billing supervisor, was awarded $1.3 million in punitive damages. The jury found SDG&E liable on three of four counts, including wrongful termination and retaliation.

In his lawsuit, Bryant claimed in 2008 that utility managers began telling workers to start hand-delivering delinquent notices to customers, which can result in $9 in additional charges, in high-density, low-income areas. He claimed that he complained about who was getting the notices and was subsequently fired.

“I don’t think it was about the money, it was about the principal of what they were doing to the public. I sacrificed my entire career for that,” said Bryant, about his decision to complain to the company, according to CBS 8.

I Was Fired Because I Complained About a Work Situation

Whistleblower claims involve people who make public statements of misconduct regarding an organization, entity or employer, or who threatens to make such statements public. If you are in this position, federal whistleblower retaliation laws protect you.

Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, publicly-traded companies are forbidden from disciplining or otherwise retaliating against employees who report concerns about an employer’s illegal activities to government agencies or supervisors.

If you are contemplating blowing the whistle on your employer’s unfair or illegal practices, contact a Los Angeles employment lawyer to help guide your decision. Call our office today to schedule a consultation at (310) 273-3180.

Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment attorneys

Did You Know? The Sarbanes-Oxley Act also protects employees who cooperate with an investigation done by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).