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Two fired executives sue bank, alleging retaliation

Sometimes a person's decision to report illegal behavior in the workplace in Texas may end up backfiring -- in the form of termination. Two people in a recent out-of-state case were fired earlier this year from a credit union. However, they claimed that the firings were done in retaliation for their speaking up about the credit union's inappropriate accounting practices and have since filed a civil suit against the credit union.

The plaintiffs are the credit union's former CFO and its former vice president. They alleged that the credit union inflated profits artificially to increase the top executives' earnings. The credit union, however, denied doing any wrong and was not hit with regulatory sanctions at federal or state levels in connection with the two plaintiffs' allegations.

The plaintiffs claimed that the credit union's CEO instructed one of the plaintiffs to push any expected loan-related losses to a date in the future rather than recording them during the month they were expected to occur. According to the suit, this and other of the credit union's practices violated federal and state laws and did not align with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. The suit claims wrongful discharge and defamation in connection with a poor performance review that was reportedly put in one of the defendants' files.

As part of the lawsuit alleging retaliation, the plaintiffs are seeking lost benefits and back pay. They are also pursuing punitive damages, other damages and legal costs and fees. When a person is a whistleblower at a company and ends up being fired by his or her employer as a result, this person has the right to seek to hold that employer accountable through the civil court system. Understanding which facts have to be proved may improve a person's chances of prevailing in an employment law case in Texas.

Source: hartfordbusiness.com, "Credit union CFO claims whistleblower retaliation", Matt Pilon, June 6, 2016

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