December 20, 2022
Today, after a two and a half week trial, a Yakima County jury found that DSHS management at the Yakima Valley School, retaliated against Ms. Hyde beginning in 2015 because management believed that Ms. Hyde had filed a whistleblower claim against her supervisor for doing her tax business during work hours at work. Under Washington law, a state employee is protected from whistleblower retaliation so long as the employer “perceives” that she is the whistleblower even if she is not. Ms. Hyde was not the whistleblower.
At trial, Ms. Hyde presented evidence that Superintendent Tammy Winegar was behind the negative treatment, which included negative performance evaluations, removal from her position and relocation to another building far from her co-workers with no assigned work.
Ms. Hyde endured harassment on almost a daily basis until she could take it no more, and she quit in January 2019. The jury awarded her lost wages of $101,260, lost retirement of $580,683, and emotional harm damages of $1,240,000.
Jack Sheridan, Hyde’s attorney, stated, “Dawne suffered for years at work owing to the retaliation and the reality that no one in management would raise a finger to stop it, but at trial, the jury listened and understood and now she is vindicated.”
Click here to see special jury verdict form
Click here to see judgment on jury verdict
Click here to see HYDE Complaint
Click here to see positive performance evaluation signed by Winegar before whistleblower anonymous filing
Click here to see State Auditor’s report
Click here to see letter pulling Hyde from job signed by Winegar after whistleblower anonymous filing is closed
Click here to see Judge Tutsch’s final jury instructions in Hyde v. State
Click here to see Yakima Herald article