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Whistleblower retaliation lawsuit ends with $1 million verdict

According to a recent California ruling, two former Los Angeles police officers faced retaliation after reporting alleged wrongdoing, forcing both men to early retirements. The courts sided with the police officers and awarded both men over $1 million in damages.

The two Los Angeles police officers are a former lieutenant and a former detective. As part of the Valley Financial Section, they were tasked with investigating crimes, such as identity theft. The two former officers were supervisors in the section when they noticed that some officers in their division were not complying with the Sixth Amendment's requirement of timely service of arrest warrants.

The men reported the actions of their subordinate officers, which included avoiding their official duties and falsifying timekeeping, to the commanders in charge. Their commanders then demoted the two officers to positions far from their homes. Attorneys for the officers say that this may have been done due to the embarrassment that these reports may have caused the commanders, and the move forced the two officers to retire early.

At trial, the attorneys representing the City of Los Angeles argued that the evidence did not prove the connection between the whistle blowing and the officers' subsequent alleged demotion. However, the court sided with the former officers and awarded the former lieutenant $308,000 and the ex-detective $723,500.

In cases where an employee is punished for whistle-blower actions in the workplace, an attorney may be able to help. The attorney may be able to protect the person's employee rights and bring a legal action against the person's employer. This may result in compensation for a wrongful termination, denial of wages and lost benefits.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, "2 Retired LAPD Officers Awarded $1M In Workplace Retaliation Lawsuit", September 05, 2014

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