According to Westwood-CenturyCity Patch, a UCLA doctor and the University Of California Board Of Regents have settled a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged that he suffered a backlash after disclosing the misconduct of other doctors on staff.
Terms of the settlement were not announced. A jury had heard testimony about the case beginning in March and the lawyers were scheduled to deliver their final arguments this month.
Dr. Robert Pedowitz was reportedly recruited as chairman of the UCLA Department of Orthopedic Surgery in 2009, but resigned a year later and alleged he was induced by management at that time to sign a settlement agreement.
His lawsuit alleged that he suffered retaliation because he come forward with concerns over the conduct of some of the other doctors on staff, which included using the UCLA logo on personal websites without getting official permission.
Pedowitz also claimed that two UCLA doctors were paid as long-term members of the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation without disclosing outside income. Additionally, he claimed that he was wrongfully demoted and that another physician defamed him by distributing false information to other faculty members about his previous employment at the University of South Florida.
Pedowitz reportedly continued to work at the university after stepping down from his chair position, but claimed that the retaliation against him continued. He also alleged that he was not allowed to participate in athletic events and grant applications.
What is Retaliation in the Workplace?
In terms of employment law, there are guidelines in place that prohibit employers from firing an employee for reporting issues at the workplace. If an employer retaliates—or even threatens to retaliate, it can be held liable.
Forms of employer retaliation can include:
- Adding warnings or suspensions to employee file
- Denial of advancement opportunities
- Failure to provide meal or rest breaks
- Relocation to undesirable location
- Unfair severance packages
Employers can also be held liable if they violate federal whistle blowing laws. If you believe that your employer unfairly terminated or retaliated against you because you reported an issue, contact our office today. Our Los Angeles employment lawyer will work with you to protect your rights.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys