FREE CONSULTATIONS:

888.465.5110

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

California lawmakers urged to take action on sexual harassment in government

California lawmakers are dealing with a growing sexual misconduct scandal that has led to questions about whether there are enough protections available for victims and whistleblowers. One of the driving forces behind...
READ ARTICLE

Amazon employee sues for denied overtime and breaks at distribution center

Amazon workers in California are seeking overtime pay, rest breaks and owed wages, claiming the company violated state laws by repeatedly denying them their rightful compensation. A class-action lawsuit covering workers at...
READ ARTICLE

Silicon Valley startup accused of encouraging sexual behavior in workplace

Silicon Valley has been rocked by one sexual harassment lawsuit after another this year, drawing attention to a pervasive problem that exists in far too many workplaces in the technology sector. In...
READ ARTICLE

What the Grubhub trial could mean for workers in the gig economy

In the first lawsuit of its kind to make it to trial in California, Grubhub fought allegations of misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors instead of employees. Other worker misclassification lawsuits in...
READ ARTICLE
SEEN ON
bloomberg
sfgate
kpix
cnnmoney
marin-ij
dailypost
news10