In the case, Robert Pedowitz, M.D. alleged he was asked to step down from his faculty position after he had reported UCLA was allowing doctors to take medical industry payments that he considered to be a conflict of interest and that such actions could potentially compromise patient care. The case was ultimately settled out of court and UCLA paid Dr. Pedowitz $10 million after a two-month trial.
Shegerian stated that while the case was settled out of court, the situation serves as a crucial reminder to employers and employees alike that retaliating against whistleblowers is unlawful in any state.
“The UCLA Medical Center case and settlement serve as important lessons to be learned in that retaliation against any employee due to his reporting of facts that may appear unflattering to the employer is wrongful and illegal,” said Shegerian. “Perhaps more importantly, it is crucial that employees who are retaliated against in such a manner take a stand, speak up and go public.”
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