I was in Lubbock yesterday talking to their SHRM chapter about retaliation and the dangers of those cases, along with its first cousin whistleblowing, and this headline did nothing to change my mind. Former Warren Township prosecutor awarded $1.26M for whistleblower complaint.
A city prosecutor, Michele D’Onofrio won a verdict of $1.38 earlier this year when a New Jersey jury determined she had been terminated for reporting that a municipal judge had been drunk on the bench. Today’s headline was about an additional $1.26 million awarded by the court for attorneys fees and costs.
Another powerful reminder that when you lose an employment law trial, at times the attorneys fees can be just as big a hit as the underlying award.
A 2007 post at the Victim of (Judicial) Greed blog, Heating Up has much more detail about the underlying suit which appears to have been against a law firm headed by a former New Jersey governor and was for sexual harassment as well as the whistleblowing complaint.
Which underscores another point, there is often much, much more to any story than appears on the initial reading, and that is particularly true in most cases of legal reporting.