In the Media:
- Mlive/Flint Journal: "Linden schools settles lawsuit over secretary's claims she was bullied by principal"
- Michigan Lawyers Weekly: "School employee: Boss harassed me - Stalking, taunting alleged"
Type of Action:
(1) Type I Whistleblower Protection Act
(2) Type II Whistleblower Protection Act
Injuries Alleged: Suspension/loss of job, lost wages, outrage/emotional distress/mental, damage to reputation in her hometown
Name of Case: Jennifer Smith v. Linden Community Schools, et al
Court: Genesee County Circuit Court
Case No: 11-97228-CZ
Tried Before: No
Name of Judge: Hon. Richard B. Yuille
Settlement Amount: $240,000
Last Offer to Settle: N/A
Most Helpful Experts: N/A
Key To Winning: Using Defendants’ own policies/by-laws to prove Plaintiff’s WPA claims
Allocation of Fault: N/A
Insurance Carrier: N/A
Attorney for Plaintiff: Tom R. Pabst, Michael A. Kowalko and Jarrett M. Pabst
Attorney for Defendants: withheld
Description of Case:
Jennifer Smith grew up in Linden, Michigan, and graduated from Linden High School. Thereafter, she worked as a secretary/administrative assistant for Linden High School for approximately 16 years. According to the male administrators, Jennifer was “compassionate and caring”, “a joy to work with”, and “fun and gregarious”. She loved her job.
However, a female administrator became Jennifer’s boss, and started harassing Jennifer. Defendant Employer School had a very broad policy against harassment of staff or applicants, which included the following protection:
“This policy, however, is not limited to these legal categories and includes any improper harassment that would negatively impact a staff member. This would include such activities as stalking and unwelcomed taunting, teasing, or intimidation”.
Jennifer complained that the female administrator was violating this School policy, but no proper investigation was conducted, therefore, no “prompt and remedial action” was taken, as required, by Defendant Employer School.
In fact, Defendant Employer School accused Jennifer of lying during the pseudo-investigation, then criticized her in writing for filing this lawsuit to protect her legal rights under the Whistleblower Protection Act, being MCLA §15.361. Sadly, Jennifer was fired from her job, and rendered an outcast in her hometown community of Linden, Michigan.
The female administrator is no longer employer with Defendant Employer School.
This lawsuit was filed, in material part, to “clear her name”, and people can make up their own minds as to whether this $240,000 settlement accomplishes that goal.
Attorneys for Jennifer Smith were Tom R. Pabst, Michael A. Kowalko, and Jarrett M. Pabst.
*For more than 30 years, veteran civil rights attorney Tom R. Pabst has been successfully representing people in Genesee County and surrounding areas. His vast experience has proven effective in protecting the rights of his clients, and thwarting the injustices they have been subjected to. Time and again, his track record has shown that Tom R. Pabst is one of the leading civil rights attorneys in the State of Michigan.