T-Mobile ordered to pay whistleblower $345k, company will appeal

Aug 10, 2012
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T-Mobile has been ordered by the US Department of Labor to not only immediately reinstate a whistleblower who voiced concerns over possibly fraudulent roaming charges, but also pay him a whopping $345,000 in back pay, lawyer fees, and damages. This order comes after the employee in question alleged that T-Mobile violated the protection the federal government gives whistleblowers, so it seems that the Department of Labor agrees. However, T-Mobile does not, saying that it will appeal and calling the DOL's order "incorrect."

When everything is broken down, the Department of Labor says that the whistleblower is owed $244,479 in back pay, $65,000 in damages, and $36,493 in attorney fees. That's a lot of money for T-Mobile to have to dish out, so it's no wonder the company wants to appeal. The employee raised concerns that "millions of dollars" in possibly fraudulent roaming charges were being imposed on "hundreds of international corporate customers" before being let go. Whether or not he was let go because he raised these concerns is the point of contention between the two parties.

T-Mobile released a statement shortly after the DOL handed down its order, saying that the department's decision wasn't based on evidence. "This preliminary conclusion is incorrect, not based on the evidence, and was made without the benefit of a trial process," T-Mobile said. "T-Mobile will appeal this preliminary conclusion and looks forward to presenting its evidence at trial. T-Mobile acted appropriately and within the law in terminating the individual's employment."

So, while the ex-employee gets everything he wanted out of the DOL's order, T-Mobile seems intent on appealing and going to trial. The company has 30 days to file its appeal, and you can bet that it will be doing so soon (if it hasn't already). After that, we'll see whether T-Mobile gets the trial it wants or if it will have to pay up anyway. Stay tuned.

[via The Seattle Times]


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