Former Sacramento Fire Chief Sues CIty for Wrongful Termination

The former chief of the Sacramento Fire Department, Gary Loesch, recently filed a $10 million wrongful termination suit against the city, claiming he was deliberately exposed to COVID-19 as a form of retaliation.

Case background

A former employee had filed a complaint against Loesch, which included several claims of harassment and discrimination based on age, gender and race, and also included details of workplace retaliation (including retaliation against whistleblowers).

One allegation claimed Loesch dressed like a black pimp for a Halloween party in 2019 and asked female employees to dress like black prostitutes.

City Manager Howard Chan attempted to dock Loesch’s pay in the wake of these incidents in January 2020. In April 2022, a judge found Loesch did not retaliate against the employee who filed the complaint against him.

Loesch was fired on May 26, and his wrongful termination tort claim says he was scheduled to meet the Assistant City Manager, Layne Milstein, in her office to discuss issues related to the department. Milstein was allegedly wearing a face mask outside the office and told Loesch he did not need to wear one. Chan came in and stood near Loesch and allegedly said he would not be removing his mask because he had COVID-19. Shortly after, CHan told Loesch he was being terminated and then left the area.

Loesch claims he was terminated without good cause and that Chan purposefully exposed him to COVID-19 as an act of retaliation.

If you are aware of any wrongdoing within a company or agency you work for, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group to learn more about the steps you can take.