October 5, 2011

Wisconsin whistleblower's case gets a little tougher

Via WKOW's Tony Galli:
Chris Larsen was fired last month from his limited term position in the mail room at the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services after Larsen used his State email account to direct others on how to obtain a free voter ID and avoid the $28 charge for State identification. Nearly two dozen Democratic lawmakers criticized the firing and urged Larsen's reinstatement.

Previously Larsen was reprimanded for obscuring emails by using a non-traditional background, for delivering mail to wrong places, for leaving work early, and for sleeping on the job. His file also shows a supervisor observed Larsen doing school work while on the job and warned him he'd be terminated if it happened again.
Potentially setting up a classic employment law battle: Was he fired for sending the email per se or was he fired for the content of the email?

I don't like his chances but maybe it's worth a shot.


CJ said...

If what is documented in his personnel file is true, his dismissal was appropriate. Workplace guidelines are not that hard to follow.

I don't think he has any recourse given his work performance.

Briane P said...

It's not hard to find reasons to fire someone, and the stuff that he did doesn't sound like it's so different from the stuff other people do. Or from related things. I don't know if the guy was a good or bad employee, but the timing of the firing sure seems to lead to one particular inference.

illusory tenant said...

It seems he hasn't been getting the best advice so far.

Anonymous said...

Have other people been fired for using a State Email account?

illusory tenant said...

I have no idea but I presume the State would argue he wasn't fired for using the email account but that it just happened to be using the email account that was the last straw.