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Child death investigation leads to a wrongful termination claim

It is not always easy to stand up for what is right and choose to speak out, especially when the situation occurs at work. Texas employees who do voice their concerns about wrongdoings should not be in fear of losing their jobs. However, some companies may be trying to hide a secret and do not always react properly in regard to whistleblowers. It is possible that a business may try to keep a secret under wraps and therefore issue a wrongful termination to ensure silence over the matter.

A man who worked for the state and investigated child deaths that occurred under the care of Texas Child Protective Services is accusing the Health and Human Services Commission of firing him for being a whistleblower. The plaintiff alleges that he was recognized for all of his hard work and was moved through the company ranks quickly. His position ultimately led him to being put onto a special task unit that would take a closer look at the death of 160 children who had been under CPS' care.

According to the plaintiff, his workplace was filled with incompetence and conspiracy due to the company attempting to cover up the death cases with improper protocol. He asserts that no interviews and case numbers had been assigned to the 160 deaths, and only those that occurred in Dallas and Houston would be part of the investigation. Although he allegedly complained to his superiors about the problems that he noticed, nothing was apparently ever done.

The plaintiff had compiled a report about a high-profile child death, but he contends that it was redacted before it was ever sent to the Texas DA and governor's office. The man was also allegedly attempting to expose a political figure who may have had a key role in the endangerment of children. Ultimately, the investigator lost his job. Employees who find themselves in similar situations may choose to pursue legal action against their employer for wrongful termination. Those who win their cases may be awarded lost wages, monetary damages and possibly be reinstated into their former positions.

Source: kxan.com, "Former child death investigator sues HHSC for firing", Nov. 19, 2014

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