Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Volkswagen employee claims wrongful termination

When mistakes are made in business, those mistakes can sometimes lead to major concerns with the government. For instance, Volkswagen has been accused of doctoring some of its reports on emissions, which is a serious crime. If you report issues like these, you shouldn't be retaliated against. That's why whistle blower protections are in place.

One of the company's employees from Michigan has spoken out to say that the company both deleted documents and obstructed justice when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stepped in to accuse the company of cheating on tests for emissions ratings. The worker claims he was wrongfully terminated in December after he refused to help the company delete the files. He reported the deletions to his supervisor. The deletions allegedly took place for several days after the allegations were made clear to the company, even though the courts has issued a hold for those documents.

According to the report, VW has admitted that around 600,000 diesel-powered vehicles in the U.S. only had their pollution controls on during the EPA's testing regiment; after that, they were turned off for consumer use, potentially allowing up to 40 times the amount of nitrogen oxide allowed into the air. This emission can cause serious respiratory issues.

If the employee is telling the truth in his claim, VW could be facing more condemning evidence against it. Right now, the Justice Department is investigating the potential for making criminal charges against the company.

The man claims he was fired because he wouldn't participate in the elimination of the emissions evidence. However, the company claims that he was fired for other reasons and stated that his case and claim of wrongful termination isn't truthful.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Ex-worker from Michigan claims VW destroyed documents," Tom Krisher, Associated Press, March 14, 2016

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