On May 4, 2023, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court reversed the lower court’s order dismissing Randolph Carpenter’s claims of whistleblower retaliation against William Penn School District. Jamie L. Ford, a Partner at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C., represents Mr. Carpenter, a School District employee, in what could be a landmark employment retaliation case.
As an emotional support supervisor, Mr. Carpenter developed and oversaw emotional support programs for special education students within the School District and served as a liaison with Child Guidance Resource Center. He reported multiple wrongdoings by the School District, including failure to maintain a safe “time out” de-escalation room for students, failure to properly implement Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), mental health care staffing failures, submission of fraudulent IEPs to the State, and submission of fraudulent billing to Medicaid. The School District then notified Mr. Carpenter that his position was “eliminated” and offered him four teaching positions, all of which were considered demotions. He accepted a nine-month teaching job for significantly less pay. The School District then declined to promote Mr. Carpenter to fourteen separate positions for which he was qualified.
The lower court dismissed Mr. Carpenter’s complaint after improperly viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the School District. The Commonwealth Court noted the trial court’s error, reversed the decision, and remanded the matter for further proceedings.
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