Iowa court to review internal whistleblower case

Published On: Jan 03 2013 06:34:34 AM CST   Updated On: Jan 03 2013 06:34:00 AM CST
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -

The Iowa Supreme Court will review whether to give greater job protections to health care employees who report potential misconduct internally.

The court announced Wednesday it will review an Iowa Court of Appeals ruling, which found an assisted-living center employee was wrongly terminated after she alleged that 2 colleagues falsified training documents.

The decision concluded that companies that operate such facilities cannot fire employees who internally report potential violations of regulations meant to protect patients. Otherwise, the court says employees would be hesitant to raise concerns.

The case involves Karen Dorshkind, who was fired in 2008 as marketing director at Oak Park Place in Dubuque. A jury awarded her $357,000 in damages. The court found the ruling for Dorshkind was appropriate, but $178,500 in punitive damages shouldn't have been allowed.