Search Site

Employee at Regional Jail Files Retaliation Lawsuit

A former sergeant at the Southern Regional Jail near Charleston, West Virginia has filed a lawsuit against the state’s Regional Jail Authority, alleging employer retaliation.

The man, Jason Hefner, says he was forced into resignation after reporting corruption within the jail system. According to the lawsuit, Hefner discovered the corruption after he conducted an investigation into a fight between several female inmates at the jail in October 2015. During the investigation, one of the inmates revealed specific relationships that had formed between inmates and officers, and how officers were providing inmates with contraband.

After completing the report and submitting it to his supervisors, Hefner was brought into a meeting, where superiors threatened his job and criticized the way he conducted his investigation. Hefner felt pressured into stepping down after being told he was facing termination, but later learned there had not been any disciplinary action planned. In his lawsuit, he seeks reimbursement for lost wages, legal fees and compensation in accordance with the West Virginia Whistleblower Act.

Whistleblowers protected from retaliation

There are a number of federal laws in place that protect whistleblowers from employer retaliation, including the Sarbanes Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Employers are strictly forbidden to retaliate in any way against employees who properly report internal wrongdoing. Examples of such retaliation are not just limited to termination — it could also include demotion, docked pay, poor treatment, isolation and various other issues.

To that end, organizations must have firm processes in place to address whistleblower complaints when they arise. To learn more about these issues, contact the experienced Dallas attorneys at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

Awards & Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
As Seen In
In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.