May 9, 2016
Today, the Court of Appeals reinstated the decision of the administrative law judge holding that Aaron Swanson was subjected to years of whistleblower retaliation after he reported that Lineworker Instructor Ron Allen had arbitrarily created and administered a test as a part of the lineworker apprenticeship process—a test no one could pass—then agreed to pass the apprentices if they brought him whiskey. Every apprentice brought whiskey to class except for Aaron. Ron Allen happened to be the nephew of the union’s business manager, and Aaron was shunned and harassed by crew chiefs while City Light management ignored his complaints. The administrative law judge found in Aaron’s favor but the Superior Court overturned his victory. The Court of Appeals agreed with the ALJ finding that the City’s former whistleblower ordinance was inadequate, and that under the State statute (RCW 42.41), Aaron produced substantial evidence to support his claim. Open the Champaign!
April 21, 2017
Today Administrative Law Judge Lisa Dublin ordered the City of Seattle to pay Aaron Swanson over $100,000 in attorney fees and costs in connection with his whistleblower retaliation win in his case against the City. The facts supporting the decision are outlined in the Court of Appeals opinion (see below). Jack Sheridan, Aaron’s attorney, stated, “Aaron is very pleased that justice was finally done, and that the City was held accountable.”