Laid-off worker says he was targeted for being 'troublemaker'


Another terminated employee has filed suit against the city of Trenton, New Jersey, claiming that he was singled out because he claimed he exposed a rogue contractor was selling permits to perform city work to other contractors without permission. The worker was actually one of about 150 city workers who were let go as part of a wide-scale workforce reduction.

The employee's wrongful termination suit is the latest in a line of similar suits brought against the city in recent months. At least three other employees in different department departments have filed wrongful termination claims for a variety of reasons.

In the most recent case, the employee was the city's sole plumbing inspector. He had actually been laid off once before, in an earlier mass layoff in January 2009, but he was rehired seven months later. He had originally been hired by the city in 1992.

One official says that the layoff was an attempt to save money by outsourcing the inspections department. He went on to say that lawsuits are not uncommon among city employees who have been laid off, because they often think it's for political reasons.

The contractor the ex-city employee said he exposed has denied that he sold permits. He says he has been a plumber for more than six decades and has never before been accused of malfeasance.

Employers who need to defend themselves against lawsuits brought by employees should consider hiring an employment law attorney who can help you avoid future liability and manage your risk of litigation.

Source: The Times of Trenton, " Trenton layoffs spawn another wrongful termination suit," Matt Fair, Dec. 28, 2011