In the opposite corner of the country from us in Florida, a wrongful termination lawsuit signifies the lengths that employers will go to in order to cover up for sloppy employees. The story also shows that no one is immune to nepotism.
Ada County in Boise, Idaho is where this story takes place. A former employee of the county, who was let go in 2013, sued Ada County for $1.5 million for wrongful termination. The employee claims that he was let go after he started investigating a harassment claim where one of the county commissioners was accused of the offense. That commissioner was a friend of two other commissioners. The county claimed the employee's dismissal was part of a restructuring effort.
However, a jury decided that the man's claim was valid and awarded him $1.7 million as a result of the case.
There are two things to learn from this story. The first is that wrongful termination cases don't always go to trial. It is actually quite rare for them to go to a jury decision. Usually the two sides involved in the dispute settle out of court, so that is something you should be prepared for if you file a lawsuit against your employer.
The other factor here is the award amount. There are laws and other restrictive caps that usually limit how much of an awarded the claimant receives in wrongful termination cases, especially ones that involve city, county or state bodies. So while $1.7 million sounds nice, in reality the plaintiff will likely receive much less.
Source: KTVB, "$1.7M decision reached in Ada County wrongful termination case," March 14, 2017