Bayer's sales rep whistleblower wins new job, back pay in termination suit

Was it the canceled credit card? Or was it the whistleblowing? Those were the big questions in a former Bayer HealthCare sales rep's wrongful termination suit--and though Bayer's appeal in the case technically rested on different questions, the credit card and the whistleblowing were central to it all the same.

The former rep, Mike Townsend, won that wrongful termination suit at trial, along with $642,746 in back pay and whistleblower hazard compensation, plus $568,000 in emotional distress damages. Bayer quickly fought back, taking the case to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals--but no dice. The panel has now ruled, and though it reduced Townsend's emotional distress damages to $300,000, the rest of the court ruling--and jury award--remained intact.

But Townsend had some trouble collecting on that judgment; in May, a federal judge ordered Bayer to fork over the back pay, despite its objections to the idea, and to give Townsend the "comparable job" awarded by the court. Bayer had offered a position in Knoxville, TN, but Townsend wanted something closer to home in Little Rock, AR. More

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