Mike McQueary, The Penn State assistant football coach who testified seeing Jerry Sandusky acting inappropriately with a young boy in a Penn State locker room shower, has given notice that he is going to be suing Penn State University. The four page document, filed today by McQueary’s attorney, calls it a whistleblower case and McQueary is seeking damages outside normal arbitration limits.
Whistleblower means that the person you have made the charges against, or someone you have gotten in trouble, is in a position of power and has taken advantage of you, instead of praising you for doing the right thing, they fire you. This is what McQueary is saying. His claim is that Penn State fired him because he blew the whistle on the bad things they were doing.
It’s an interesting whistleblower case, to say the least. There is a federal whistleblower protection law, but that is mainly used by Federal employees. Chances are he will be filing under the Pennsylvania whistleblower protection law. You only have six months to file it and he is right up next to the deadline.
What Does He Need to Prove to Be Successful?
McQueary starts off with a pretty strong case. He blew the whistle, and his allegation is that he went ahead and told about Jerry Sandusky and subsequently got fired. Did he get fired because he blew the whistle or was he fired for other reasons?
It’s obvious that Penn State will claim that they didn’t fire him because he was a whistleblower. They are going to claim that they fired him because he didn’t do what he was supposed to do. Only time will tell as this case unfolds.
What’s The Next Step in This Process?
Probably what will happen first is that both sides will come together and see if they can settle this case before it gets filed. What McQueary’s whistleblower attorney has done is put the University on notice and probably has some kind of effect at stopping the statute of limitations.
If an agreement is not reached, then the lawsuit will be filed, detailing much more information than is currently available. Penn State will then have a chance to answer the lawsuit and give the reasons why they went ahead and fired him. It is highly probable that Penn State will claim that it had nothing to do with McQueary being a whistleblower.