By Don Tagala, ABS CBN North America Bureau
May 20, 2013
Jersey City, NJ – Filipino worker Ceferino Doculan was awarded more than $2.1 milion USD after suing Bayonne Medical Center, under new jersey’s whistle blower law.
Doculan who has worked as a technician for the hospital for more than 20 years, filed a complaint against his new supervisor, believing that the latter did not have the proper credentials for the position, citing incidents of improper staffing. He was then disciplined for insubordination and alleged paperwork errors and was eventually fired.
In an email to Balitang America, Doculan’s lawyer Kevin Costellano cited that it’s illegal to fire an employee just because he objects to violations of the law made by his employer.
“Mr. Doculan brought an action under the NJ CEPA (Conscientious Employee Protection Act) because he was fired for having objected to what he contended were illegal staffing practices at the Bayonne Medical Center Blood Bank and also because a supervisor who had been appointed to the lab in early 2010 lacked the credentials called for by New Jersey public health law,” Costellano said, “in retaliation for his whistleblowing, he was written up for disciplines he did not deserve until he was fired for those disciplines in September of 2010.”
The state later confirmed that the said supervisor was not qualified for her position.
Doculan was also awarded $80,000 in lost wages and $60,000 for pain and suffering.
“Mr. Doculan is pleased to have prevailed, but for him, the most important feature of the verdict is the restoration of his good name in the public health field where he has spent his career helping people,” Costellano said.
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