Local police departments, much like other positions in local government, may make news for reasons other than the quality of the jobs being performed. The termination of a public official in Colorado or elsewhere can lead to scrutiny if that termination appears to have occurred for reasons other than job performance, opening the door to a possible wrongful termination suit. According to a fired deputy in one locale, her political views and support for a candidate led to her termination from her job.
The fired deputy says she was fired for supporting a political opponent of the Sheriff. She was penalized for that support, according to papers filed in the case. There are claims that the sheriff demoted opponents and gave raises to supporters.
A legal representative for the county says the deputy was fired after an incident involving lying about a drunk driving charge. The former deputy also cites questions about contact she had with an opponent of the last year’s sheriff election. She is suing the department for wrongful termination.
A wrongful termination suit may appear difficult to prove as one side may state one reason for termination while a former employee may feel another reason was behind a termination. In a case where a Colorado employer states one reason, but an employee strongly believes the firing was against the law, emails, job performances and any witnesses to statements may all help in providing the evidence necessary to establish liability in civil court. By pursuing a wrongful termination suit, a wronged employee may be able to garner a monetary settlement for back pay and other damages and may even be granted reinstatement to the former employment position.
Source: NBC Montana, “Former Missoula deputy files wrongful termination lawsuit“, May 14, 2015