A former executive of Starkey Hearing Foundation -- with headquarters outside of Texas -- claims that she was fired for questioning some of the behaviors of the organization. The plaintiff worked for the company over two years before her termination. She is suing Starkey Hearing Foundation as well as Starkey Laboratories Inc.
According to her whistleblower lawsuit, Starkey was partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative. As part of the initiative, Starkey claimed that by the end of the decade, it would provide over one million hearing aids to people for free. The plaintiff alleges that the company was not even close to holding up its promise and lied about how many were actually being given away.
Starkey had purportedly claimed that, as of 2014, it had given away nearly 175,000 hearing aids. The plaintiff contends that the company barely gave away 100,000 and greatly exaggerated the number so that company would not lose its non-profit status. The executive also said that the company was engaged in other conflicts of interest and wrongdoing. She alleges that, in other countries, the Starkey retailers were to choose which patients would receive free care, but some of the retailers would try to get the patients to spend money and purchase other products and services so that it was advantageous to the company.
The plaintiff claims that she brought all of these issues to the attention of the highest level executives at Starkey, including the company's co-founder. After she reported the alleged wrongdoing, the chairman fired her and reportedly blamed it on performance reasons. Starkey claims that the plaintiff's allegations are baseless. It is unlawful for Texas companies to try to silence whistleblowing employees by an unjust termination or otherwise mistreating them. Those who believe they are aggrieved can consult with an employment attorney to assess their options legal relief.
Source: startribune.com, "Fired Starkey worker files whistleblower suit alleging wrongdoing", Jackie Crosby, Dec. 23, 2015