Whistleblower Claims Wrongful Termination After Complaining About COVID Protocols at Workplace

A whistleblower claims he was wrongfully terminated from his position after repeatedly raising his concerns about COVID-19 protocols at Trojan Battery Co. in Santa Fe Springs.

The company was the subject of an investigation in 2020 after a virus outbreak resulted in 61 total infections and the death of one employee. The whistleblower, John Martinez, claims he was made into the “fall guy” by the company, which failed to implement appropriate pandemic prevention measures.

Case background

On March 17, 2020, Martinez came into contact with a person who tested positive for the virus. He was told to stay at home until he as told to come back to work. When he finally returned to work at the facility, he was given the responsibility of checking the health statuses of other employees before they returned to work.

He was stationed near the entrance with a face mask and temperature checking device, and assigned to check all temperatures of people entering the facility. He questioned the safety of these protocols, but was repeatedly assured by superiors that he had no reason to be concerned. According to his legal team, he received very little instruction in how to do his job.

As plant production decreased due to many employees staying home, Martinez raised his concerns to superiors about how the company was handling pandemic safety, and again told he had nothing to worry about. Still, he expressed concerns about contact with infected employees and the shared washing areas, as well as the potential for a large-scale infection, all of which fell on deaf ears.

After the breakout happened at the company, superiors informed Martinez he was not allowed to talk to any media outlets. But when television news crews outside the building saw a contractor without a face covering, Martinez was fired for failure to follow protocols.

A failure on the part of many companies to follow COVID-19 protocols has led to numerous lawsuits like Martinez’s. If you believe your company failed to take appropriate action to ensure pandemic safety, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group.