Penny Weymiller v. Idaho Falls School District

Penny Weymiller v. Idaho Falls School District No. 91, OALJ Case No. 2015-CAA-00001 (May 2, 2017); Decision and Order Denying Whistleblower Complaint.

Employment Law/Whistleblower Retaliation.

The attached ALJ Decision by Judge Richard Clark addressed the question whether Respondent’s termination of Complainant in June of 2011 was in retaliation for a March 2011 email sent by Complainant to her supervisor wherein she had purportedly warned him that a proposed asbestos removal project violated AHERA and the CAA. The matter was ripe for hearing following a two and a half year investigation by OSHA which culminated in Findings by the Secretary of Labor issued in January of 2015, wherein it decided that Respondent had violated the anti-retaliation provisions of the CAA, and awarded Complainant over $400K in compensatory damages, ordered reinstatement to her prior position, and also ordered additional non-compensatory relief. Respondent filed a timely objection to the Secretary’s Decision and a de novo four day trial was held before the ALJ in February of 2016 (at the hearing Complainant increased her alleged compensatory damages to $1.7M). In a thorough, sixty-seven (67) page Decision (see attached), Judge Clark found that the termination of Complainant was for legitimate, business reasons, concluded that Respondent would have terminated her even in the absence of the alleged whistle-blowing incident, and therefore denied the whistleblower complaint.