Employee entitled to jury trial under state whistleblower law, judge rules

(4/1/2023) -- A federal judge has ruled that an employee bringing a whistleblower lawsuit is permitted to a jury trial in federal court. In Romano v. Bucks County Water & Sewer Authority, U.S. District Judge Mary A. McLaughlin ruled on March 25 that an employee who was fired from her job as a customer relations manager is entitled to a jury trial on the claims she brought under the state’s whistleblower law. However, the judge also ruled that Romano couldn’t recover punitive damages under the whistleblower act because the statute doesn’t identify such damages in its list of available remedies. Romano brought suit against her former employers in 2003 alleging that the authority targeted her for retribution because she criticized a supervisor’s practices and the authority’s policies. A copy of the court’s opinion is available from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s web site.