A former county administrator in Minnesota has added a new claim against his former employer. According to the former administrator, he was the victim of wrongful termination.
The Winona County Board of Commissioners fired the man in May after an external investigation implicated him in being improperly involved in a potential solar-energy project. The investigation found that his wife worked for the company that was proposing the project and he did not share this information. He asked for permission to speak publicly before the board about the termination. However, the process was pulled from the agenda at the hearing when he was supposed to speak due to legal concerns.
He lodged a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The department’s protocol requires it to analyze the complaint to determine if there is probable cause. Then, the department determines how to proceed with the claim, with options that may include investigation, mediation or conciliation. The person who files the complaint has the option of bringing the case into court if he or she wants to. The attorney who is representing the former administrator says that filing a claim with this department can be the first move toward a lawsuit. In this particular case, the lawyer says that they are asking the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to conduct an investigation. He is confident that the department will pursue further action after the investigation.
Individuals who believe that their civil rights have been violated may have the option of asking an outside agency to investigate the claim. This investigation may help them to acquire evidence that their employment law attorney may be able to use to prove their claim.
Source: Winona Daily News, “Hebert files state discrimination claim against county“, Tesla Mitchell, July 14, 2014