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California whistleblower amends case against Roadrunner

According to court documents, a Madera man amended his civil complaint against Roadrunner Intermodal Services in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on March 5. The man, who initially sued Roadrunner for wrongful termination, libel, slander and failure to pay wages, added a claim for whistleblower protection under the California Labor Code.

The man alleges that Roadrunner purchased the capital stock of Central Cal Transportation in 2012 from the man and another person for $3.8 million minus specific sums. The man received around $110,000 and was hired as a vice president of Central Cal with an annual salary of $200,000. Per the agreement, the man was supposed to receive earn-out payments if Roadrunner earned profits of more than $1.4 million for the fiscal years of 2013 through 2016. The earn-out payment was supposed to equal $750,000 plus 75 percent of amounts over $1.4 million with the total capped at $4 million.

The man noticed financial irregularities that indicated fraud and notified the company. In April 2015, Roadrunner refused to pay the earn-out payment even though the prior two years showed profits. The man was later terminated without reason, and his final paycheck was less than the amount that he was owed. He was then hired by TGS Transportation, and Roadrunner subsequently sued the new company that hired him.

Employers are forbidden from retaliating against workers for engaging in protected activity such as reporting illegal acts. When this does take place, however, the affected employees might want to meet with an experienced labor and employment law attorney to see what remedies might be available.

Source: Northern California Record, “Madera man amends whistle-blower case against Roadrunner Intermodal Services”, Karen Kidd, March 24, 2018