The Government Accountability Project (GAP) recently filed a lawsuit against Kraft-Heinz Foods on behalf of Dr. David Glover, a former sanitation manager at the company’s poultry processing facility in Newberry, South Carolina.
Dr. Glover says he discovered five million pounds of poultry products contaminated with a cleaning solution. He attempted to report the contamination internally through the Heinz ethics hotline. He also reported it through the proper channels at the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
However, Dr. Glover claims he was ultimately made a scapegoat for the mishap, terminated from his position in retaliation for alerting health officials. GAP claims Dr. Glover’s claim is covered under the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Whistleblowers protected from wrongful termination
The U.S. federal government has laws in place to shield whistleblowers from retaliation when they report wrongdoing. It is illegal for employers to fire workers who properly report instances of wrongdoing from within the company. Wrongfully terminated whistleblowers can either sue for their job back, for financial damages or both.
The purpose of these laws is to encourage whistleblowers to come forward with their information and to stop the wrongdoing from occurring. Before the government strengthened its whistleblower protections and began offering rewards to whistleblowers who provide tips to government agencies and law enforcement, whistleblowers did not have much incentive to come forward, as they could have easily been thrown under the bus by their companies.
If you are interested in learning more about the steps you can take to report wrongdoing in your business or organization, consult an experienced whistleblower attorney with Kardell Law Group.