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Pittsburgh-area woman sues clinic for whistleblower retaliation

A Pittsburgh-area woman is suing her former employer, a private clinic for veterans, for workplace harassment and whistleblower retaliation. Her complaint states that she was overworked to the point that she was suffering from panic attacks and then began enduring harassment after she complained that the facility was not managing patient's medications properly.

The woman worked as a counselor for veterans with mental health issues, conducting therapy sessions for a high number of patients and handling administrative duties as well. In fact, her attorney says that she was given such as high volume of calls, faxes and other administrative duties that it was difficult to handle her patients, who were veterans suffering from a mental health crisis.

She is seeking whistleblower protection because she says she reported medication mismanagement to upper management as well as the Veterans Administration which contracted with the facility.

The situation became incredibly stressful and she eventually went on medical leave because of her panic attacks and was then terminated in April 2011. Because of the many complex issues in this case, the woman is pursuing claims of discrimination, retaliation, and FMLA violations.

If her allegations are true and she did suffer from retaliation for reporting perceived misconduct by the clinic, then she may be able to recover under one or more of those theories. It's important for Pittsburgh residents to remember that they have a right to pursue damages when their rights are violated at work and that employers must be held accountable if they violate the law.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Export woman sues Greensburg veterans clinic," Rich Lord, Nov. 16, 2012.

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