Allegheny County Courthouse
PITTSBURGH – A 911 dispatcher says she was fired in retaliation after reporting a co-worker who fell asleep on the job.
Maureen Beaumont on June 28 accused Allegheny County Emergency Services of retaliation in a lawsuit filed in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas citing the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Act.
The suit states Beaumont, who worked as a 911 dispatcher for the defendant since 2015, filed a report against a fellow dispatcher, Jessica Bayton, in September 2018 over allegations that Bayton regularly fell asleep during her shift. Beaumont alleged she submitted it as a concerned citizen, not as a colleague.
In November 2018, the suit states the plaintiff filed another report against Bayton over allegations she was hostile toward the plaintiff and other workers.
The same month, the suit states Beaumont was falsely accused of going through and stealing Bayton’s personal things in October 2018. Beaumont was later suspended and a hearing in November revealed that the items were no longer thought to be stolen, the suit states. At a hearing in December 2018, Beaumont was falsely accused of going through Bayton's notebook, and she was terminated the following month for allegedly harassing Bayton, the suit says.
“Plaintiff believes, and therefore avers, that the reason provided by defendant for her termination is pretexual and unworthy of belief,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff also believes, and therefore avers, that her termination was taken by the defendant in retaliation for plaintiff’s good faith reports of Bayton’s wrongdoing ...”
She said as a result of the defendants’ alleged actions, that she suffered loss of employment, social security and 401(k) that she would have earned during her suspension and after her termination, stress and emotional suffering and economic damages like attorney’s fees.
She asked the court for compensatory damages, costs of the lawsuit and attorney’s fees, plus pre- and post-judgment interest along with an injunctive relief and/or declaratory relief.
Beaumont wants the case to go before a jury at trial. She is represented by Joel S. Sansone of the Law Offices of Joel Sansone in Pittsburgh.