NO FEE UNLESS YOU WIN

San Francisco attorney wins $2 million in whistleblower lawsuit against city

A former deputy city attorney won a wrongful termination and whistleblower lawsuit against the city of San Francisco. The San Francisco Superior Court jury awarded Joanna Hoeper over $2 million for lost earnings and emotional distress.

According to the lawsuit, Hoeper was wrongfully terminated for uncovering what she suspected was an illegal scam in which municipal officials were approving unnecessary payments to plumbing companies. The jury believed the city fired Hoeper in retaliation for her whistleblowing actions, in violation of the California Whistleblower Protection Act.

Hoeper, who worked in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, began a preliminary investigation in 2011 after an FBI agent tipped her off about possible fraud connected to the city’s sewer payment programs. She suspected two city attorney staffers were receiving kickbacks for directing around $10 million in taxpayer money to plumbing companies for needless sewer replacement work from 2002 to 2012.

After presenting a report to City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Hoeper was reassigned to the district attorney’s office before being fired in 2014. City officials argued that Hoeper was fired not in retaliation but actually due to her incompetence. They claimed Herrera had been actively looking to hire someone to replace her since 2010.

City officials also said Herrera supported Hoeper’s investigation and called for an end to the sewer payment program after receiving her report. They insisted there was no evidence of a scam. However, the jury found that the report did in fact play a role in the firing.

Read more

San Francisco unpaid wage lawyer

Starbucks must pay workers for off-the-clock tasks, says Supreme Court

A landmark court ruling in a wage theft case against Starbucks could signal changes for employers throughout California. Starbucks can no longer avoid paying employees for time spent on performing tasks outside...

READ ARTICLE
San Francisco unpaid wage attorney

Cheesecake Factory owes janitors $4.6 million in wage theft case

Large companies that use contracting and subcontracting sometimes do so in an attempt to avoid responsibility for ensuring their workers are paid proper wages. According to California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su,...

READ ARTICLE
san francisco unpaid wage lawyer

La Taqueria fined $600,000 for wage violations as workers win key workplace changes

San Francisco eatery La Taqueria has enjoyed immense popularity, even appearing on The San Francisco Chronicle’s annual Top 100 restaurants list. However, the 45-year-old restaurant has received negative publicity lately due to...

READ ARTICLE
sexual harassment lawyer

State audit criticizes University of California’s handling of sexual misconduct claims

The University of California (UC) needs to improve its handling of sexual harassment complaints, according to a recent state audit. The report revealed persistent issues such as delayed investigations and inconsistencies in...

READ ARTICLE
SEEN ON
bloomberg
sfgate
kpix
cnnmoney
marin-ij
dailypost
news10