It is important that employees are able to report improper or dangerous conditions that they observe in their workplaces. When someone is aware that fraudulent or dangerous practices could negatively impact the public, they are often uniquely positioned to report the problem. Unfortunately, an employee who is aware of a violation of the law may be afraid that if they report it, they could face retaliation and be terminated or face other negative employment actions.
This is the claim made by two employees of a for-profit Minnesota college. They both claim that because they had been open about what they viewed as serious problems with the admissions and accreditation process, they were subjected to negative employment actions. Both employees brought their claims under the Minnesota Whistleblower Act.
The Minnesota Whistleblowers Act prohibits an employer for discharging or otherwise penalizing an employee for making a good faith report of an actual or suspected violation of a state or federal law or other regulation.
The two employees had both served as deans within the school and had brought to light allegedly misleading and false statements by the school regarding its post-graduation employment rates. The school also stands accused of reporting false graduation rates.
The two employees claim that after making their concerns known they were the victims of retaliation from the school. Both were terminated last year and are seeking payment of compensation and lost wages.
Source: The Woodbury Bulletin, “Former Globe University deans sue school after termination, claim it misled students”, Riham Feshir, May 10, 2012.