FORMER RAINY LAKE MEDICAL CENTER PHYSICIAN SUES FOR WRONGFUL TERMINATION AFTER BLOWING WHISTLE ON CONTRACT BREACH
Minneapolis, MN, October 10, 2017 – – – Dr. Eric Koperda has sued his former employer– Rainy Lake Medical Center of International Falls, MN – for retaliation under the Minnesota Whistleblower Act and disability discrimination under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Dr. Koperda alleges that he was wrongfully terminated for reporting to RLMC’s executive leadership the organization’s breach of his employment agreement, including failing to pay him for on-call hours performed for RLMC and wrongfully requiring him to work excessive on-call hours in violation of the agreement.
Dr. Koperda’s Complaint – filed in Koochiching County on October 10, 2017 – describes how Dr. Koperda was hired by RLMC in 2015 and practiced medicine successfully despite a communications handicap that the administrators at RLMC refused to accommodate. Eventually, unlawful behavior at RLMC led Dr. Koperda to report to RLMC’s Chief Executive Officer and the human resources function that the company was failing to pay him for services performed and was breaching his employment agreement. The Complaint alleges that RLMC refused to take remedial action in response to these reports and instead terminated Dr. Koperda’s employment soon after he made them.
“Dr. Koperda had hoped to enjoy a long career with RLMC and serve the International Falls Community,” said Peter Christian of Schaefer Halleen, Dr. Koperda’s attorney. “The law provides protection for whistleblowers so that employees can be confident that if they have the courage to stand up to their employer and attempt to stop them from breaking the law, their job will not be in jeopardy. We intend to demonstrate for the court that RLMC ended Dr. Koperda’s career because he had the courage to stand up, and that RLMC’s unlawful conduct here goes to the heart of why we have whistleblower laws. We have to protect employees from retaliation when they report legal violations,” said Mr. Christian.
“I moved to the International Falls community in order to pursue a career with RLMC. I loved serving its people and I made a home in the community. I am devastated that my career – and my place in the community – came to an end as a result of what I believe were illegal motivations. I look forward to the litigation process as a means by which the administrators running RLMC will be held accountable for their improper conduct. I hope I can make a difference for the few physicians remaining at RLMC and the next physicians who join the organization,” said Dr. Koperda.
To review the background of Schaefer Halleen, LLC, and the groundbreaking discrimination, whistleblower, and retaliation cases Peter Christian and Schaefer Halleen have prosecuted, please visit www.schaeferhalleen.com. The publicly filed Complaint is available on this website as well.