sex-harass2Sandra Trojan, professor of Physics at Caltech, is suing the esteemed university for breach of contract and violations of the institutes own whistleblower policy.  The lawsuit stems from a 2010 incident which allegedly resulted in unlawful retaliation against the professor.

Trojan alleges that she went to University officials over concerns about a research assistant who was working with her on a space propulsion project.  She claims that the researcher contacted unauthorized people overseas with details about the project and that he also posted details about the research online without permission.  Despite multiple complaints to the University, Trojan claims that the researcher was allowed to keep files and allowed to keep working for Caltech.

The alleged retaliation began after the FBI began a larger investigation of the researcher and approached Trojan for information.  The Physics professor answered FBI questions and provided investigators with details of her complaints to the University and officials failure to handle her complaints.

Trojan broke no laws and violated no University policies as a result of her communication with FBI investigators.  In fact the University and the state of California have clear policies designed to protect whistleblowers in situations like this where there is a major security risk.

Policies like this are put in place to help victims or concerned citizens come forward without the fear of being punished or persecuted.  The fact that the University seemed to display such indifference at the outset and then violated their own policy does not bode well for them in this case.

If your employer has retaliated against you after bringing violations to light you need to reach out to an attorney for help.  An experienced California individual rights lawyer can compare company policy to state law and determine if any violations have taken place.  If you have been unlawfully punished your attorney can act to ensure that your rights are upheld and that the violations are properly handled.

In California, it is unlawful under Fair Employment and Housing laws to terminate or take an adverse action against an employee for whistleblowing.  Whistleblowing occurs when an employee reports violations of law committed by the employer to state, federal, or regulatory administrative or law enforcement offices.

AXIS Legal Counsel is an employment law firm representing clients  in numerous kinds of lawsuits and disputes involving some of the nation’s largest employers. Whether it is sexual harassment, other kinds of harassment, discrimination, medical/disability discrimination, retaliation, hostile work environment, wage/hour, workplace bullying, or other claims, AXIS Legal Counsel is experienced in the field of employment and labor law and focused on providing high-quality legal service.  AXIS’s managing attorney, Rabeh M. A. Soofi, is recognized as one of the “Top Women Lawyers in Southern California” by SuperLawyers, and is a Los Angeles Employment Attorney with experience representing numerous employees with a wide variety of employment claims.

For information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel for any employment matter, contact or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation, or visit our Employee’ Rights Practice Area, or Individual Rights Portal. AXIS is a Los Angeles, California employment law firm serving employees all over Los Angeles and California.


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