A former case manager supervisor for Philadelphia’s Community Council for Mental Health and Mental Retardation has filed a wrongful termination complaint against the agency, claiming he was fired in retaliation for raising concerns about fraudulent billings by case manager subordinates.
Philadelphia attorney Nixon Teah Kannah filed the civil action June 4 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Wellington Stubs II.
The lawsuit alleges the defendant violated Pennsylvania’s Whistleblower Act when it terminated Stubs from his position on Dec. 6, 2011, a mere two months after the plaintiff was hired on as a case manager supervisor to oversee five separate case managers.
The complaint alleges that Stubs’ firing was in retaliation for him undertaking his own investigation into allegations that members of his team were not meeting their daily quota of client visitations, although they were submitting invoices and billing statements reflecting that they had been carrying out their required duties.
When Stubs called clients to verify the last time a case manager had provided mental health and/or substance abuse services to them, some clients indicated they had not seen a case manager in more than a month, the lawsuit alleges.
When Stubs brought this revelation to the attention of his immediate supervisor, the man told the plaintiff to keep the information to himself, since it would “open a can of [worms] and we will have to pay all the money back,” the lawsuit alleges.
It was at that point that Stubs decided to conduct his own investigation and started reviewing unit logs and contacting clients.
Stubs then again brought the issue to the attention of his supervisor, identified in the lawsuit as program director Jeff Hill, who said he needed to “review” Stubs’ management skills.
A few weeks after this encounter, Stubs was terminated for what the agency said was a “violation of company policy.”
Stubs soon filed for unemployment compensation, which was not contested by the defendant, although during an unemployment compensation hearing the defendant alleged that Stubs was investigated and terminated primarily for harassing two female coworkers, the lawsuit states.
The coworkers appeared at the hearing, however, and testified that they were not harassed by Stubs.
“Plaintiff was terminated because he requested an investigation into the fraudulent billings – wrongdoing – by members of his team,” the suit states. “Plaintiff’s actions of reporting the fraudulent billing to the program director, Mr. Hill, was a good faith report of wrongdoing and Community Council violated the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law when it terminated Plaintiff’s Employment.”
The lawsuit contains an additional count of abuse of process in which Stubs accuses the defendant of creating the “bogus” allegations of harassment during the unemployment compensation hearing process, allegedly in order to cover up the defendant’s violation of the whistleblower law.
Stubs seeks damages in excess of $50,000, plus attorney’s fees, litigation costs and full reinstatement of fringe benefits and seniority rights.
The case ID number is 120600287.