Employee Speech Suit Raises State Constitutional Issues

Connecticut Law Tribune
August 1, 2014

Jordan A. Thomas comments on upcoming Connecticut Supreme Court case to determine fate of state whistleblower protections

A lawsuit filed by a manager who lost his job at the Hartford Connecticut office of Swiss financial services giant UBS AG has turned into a pivotal case that could affect how Connecticut workers are protected by the state's whistleblower law.

The Connecticut Supreme Court will try to determine whether free speech provisions in the state constitution and a 1983 state law that protects workers from being terminated for reporting possible wrongdoing by their company have been trumped, in some ways, by a 2006 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Jordan A. Thomas, a Partner at Labaton Sucharow in New York, who represents whistleblowers in claims against large corporations and was quoted in recent newspaper articles about the case, said the public could be affected if the court rules for UBS. "If the court interprets the law narrowly, whistleblower employees will have less protection for reporting corporate wrongdoing in Connecticut," Thomas said. "That would be a setback for both investors and the general public."