Judge Sides With Whistleblower in Case Against Mayo Clinic

The U.S. Department of Labor has sided with an employee from Mayo Clinic who claims the hospital discriminated against him after he made safety complaints related to his duties as a courier, according to a Post-Bulletin report.

James E. Seehusen delivers items to Mayo, including mail, samples and X-rays. He complained to Mayo supervisors about the safety of his vehicle, which allegedly had a broken windshield. According to the judge's order, Mayo failed to conduct required daily inspections of certain vehicles and to obtain certain certifications for employees to "legally operate" shuttle buses.

Using Mayo's discipline process, Mr. Seehusen was eventually placed on a three-day suspension after his complaints. While the system claimed the disciplinary action would have occurred regardless of Mr. Seehusen's safety complaints, the judge said Mayo failed to prove this. The judge said the disciplinary documentation included "direct evidence of discrimination," according to the report.

Administrative Law Judge Daniel F. Solomon has ordered Mayo to reinstate Mr. Seehusen to the same "seniority, status and benefits he would have had but for (the clinic's) unlawful discrimination," according to the report.

Under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, employees cannot be fired, disciplined or discriminated against for filing complaints about commercial vehicle safety.

Related Articles on Whistleblower Lawsuits:

False Claims Recoveries and Whistleblower Suits Reach All-Time High
6-Year Whistleblower Suit Against IASIS Healthcare Dismissed
11 Lawsuits Against Hospitals Over False Claims, Kickbacks or Stark Law

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