Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fired 911 Dispatcher's Suit Shifted to Federal Court She Claims Retaliation for Whistleblowing

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fired 911 Dispatcher's Suit Shifted to Federal Court She Claims Retaliation for Whistleblowing

Article excerpt

A lawsuit in which a former Allegheny County 911 dispatcher claims she was fired because she complained about another dispatcher sleeping on the job has been moved to federal court.

Maureen Beaumont originally sued Allegheny County Emergency Services in June in Common Pleas Court.

The case was transferred Friday to U.S. District Court because it involves constitutional claims of retaliation.

Ms. Beaumont was fired in January after the 911 center said she harassed another dispatcher. She claimed that the real reason was that she had reported the woman to her supervisors for sleeping on the job when she should have been taking calls, which she said created a risk to the public.

In April an arbitrator ruled that Ms. Beaumont had been improperly fired and ordered the 911 center to reinstate her, according to her complaint, but her lawsuit will still proceed in U.S. District Court.

Ms. Beaumont is suing on counts of retaliation in violation of the First Amendment and the state Whistleblower Act.

Ms. Beaumont was hired in 2015. In September 2018 she complained about the other dispatcher sleeping and in November complained again that the woman was being hostile to other employees.

Shortly after the second complaint, she was called into a meeting in which she was told the other dispatcher had accused her of going through her personal property and stealing items in October 2018. …

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