Former Volkswagen Employee Sues Company for Unlawful Termination
Processing Employee Says He Was Fired for Refusing to Destroy Documents
A former Volkswagen Group of America employee claims he was unlawfully fired from the company late last year for trying to keep another employee from deleting data, according to Reuters.
The ex-employee, Daniel Donovan, filed the lawsuit, saying the company continued to destroy evidence for the three days following the September 18 revelation that the company had been using defeat devices to pass emissions tests. Donovan was fired in December.
According to Detroit News, Donovan worked with Volkswagen’s general counsel office charged handling data relating to injury and product liability cases. The suit says he reported the data deletion to his supervisor and that the department wasn’t preserving backup disks. It also says he was fired because the company believed he would report the file destruction to authorities.
Volkswagen vehemently denies Donovan was wrongfully terminated, saying that he left the company for reasons unrelated to the diesel scandal. The company’s claim isn’t without merit, given the span of time between Donovan’s on-the-job complaints and his actual firing. Additionally, Reuters reports Donovan was following his manager’s orders in trying to stop the deletions, suggesting the company was attempting to comply with a Department of Justice order to cease any routine file deletion.
Volkswagen has obviously been in the headlines a lot recently thanks to the continuing emissions developments and the recent departure of its North American chief Michael Horn. Its American dealers have a tense relationship with the company of late, driven by flagging sales and a lukewarm commitment to the market by the higher-ups within Volkswagen AG.