We represented a physician named “Mark” in a wrongful termination case brought under the Minnesota Whistleblower Act. The case settled before trial for $2.4 million.
Administrators at Mark’s clinic told him that they wanted to hire a female physician to work alongside him, in the same practice area. But they wanted to pay her less than him. Mark objected and said, “You can’t do that. That’s gender discrimination. It’s wrong, and it’s illegal.” The administrators responded, “Don’t tell anyone.”
Mark’s conscience wouldn’t allow him to obey that directive. He told the prospective female recruit the truth.
The clinic’s administrators found out. They decided to fire Mark. But they had no reason to do so, so they tried to make some up. They asked the clinic’s general counsel to approach a rank and file employee and direct her to send an email complaining about Mark’s conduct. Fearing for her own job, the employee did so. The clinic then used that email to justify terminating Mark.
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Mark found another firm first to litigate his case. They refused to do it on a contingency basis, and took a lot of his money very early on. Thankfully, Mark found us. We brought a claim on his behalf against the clinic under the Minnesota Whistleblower Act, which prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for raising concerns about suspected violations of the law.
This was hard fought litigation over 3 years. The clinic fought everything that they could and admitted nothing. They asserted counterclaims against Mark. But it all fell apart when we took the “complaining” employee’s deposition. She started to admit what happened, and defense counsel immediately called for a break and moved the Court to stop the deposition. The Court rightfully refused to do so. The employee then bravely told the truth, exposing the clinic’s scheme.
The case settled shortly thereafter for $2.4 million. Employers will generally pay large sums to avoid trial.
It was an honor to represent Mark, who had the guts to stand up and do the right thing when most wouldn’t.