Hoang Nguyen of Huntington Beach has filed an employment lawsuit against Ameri-King Inc. alleging that he was illegally fired for blowing the whistle on his employer.
According to a news report in the Huntington Beach Independent, Nguyen alleges in the complaint that Ameri-King, an aviation equipment manufacturer, has been selling rebranded or refurbished products that were made in China and not approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The federal agency is investigating the company on allegations that it sold Chinese-made items by relabeling them to say they were made in the United States.
These parts such as locator transmitters, altitude encoders and power convertors were then sold to small aircraft makers such as Cessna.
Nguyen’s lawyer said FAA is looking into whether or not some of the small plane crashes previously considered to have been caused by pilot error were actually caused by some of these faulty products.
Nguyen’s lawsuit, filed in Orange County Superior Court, seeks general and compensatory damages, including lost wages, and compensation for mental and emotional distress.
Protection for Whistleblowers
Under federal law, whistleblowers are protected when they stop, report or testify about actions or lack of action by employers that are illegal and violate public health and/or safety.
In this particular case, it appears that Nguyen, an assembler, confronted his supervisor about the refurbished products saying that they would increase the risk of airplane crashes.
However, Nguyen says in his complaint that his supervisor responded that the company will not have to worry about it because when an airplane crashes, “no single company will be held liable” and that there would be no way to definitively say which one of thousands of parts may have caused the crash.
In 2011, Nguyen blew the whistle by sending letters to the FAA detailing the illicit activity. He was fired in January and was told that “there was no work” for him in the company.
Protecting Your Rights
Whistleblower laws are in place to ensure that individuals still have the ability to alert the authorities about illegal activities in companies that could put the public’s health and safety in jeopardy.
Employees must be able to do so without fear of retaliation and without the fear that they would lose their jobs or their livelihood.
If you have been wrongfully terminated or retaliated against by your employer for being a whistleblower, please contact Bisnar Chase to obtain more information about your legal rights and options.