Search Site

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.

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.