Reference - Marcus v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 92-TSC-5 (ALJ Dec. 3, 1992)
Contentions of The Parties
Dr. William Marcus (Complainant) alleges that he was subjected to a hostile work environment and later terminated because of a memo he drafted and released that warned of potential harm from the use of fluoride, contrary to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's official position concerning the safety of fluoride use.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) (Respondent) contends that it terminated Dr. Marcus after an investigation by the Inspector General's office, which alleged that Dr. Marcus was (1) using official information for private gain; (2) engaging in private business activities that resulted in or created the appearance of a conflict of interest; (3) failing to follow established leave procedures; and (4) failing to obtain administrative approval for outside employment. E.P.A. contends that while it was aware of Dr. Marcus' controversial memo, it was not a factor in the decision to terminate Dr. Marcus, employment.
The judge ruled in favour of Dr Marcus:
Because three of the four charges against Dr. Marcus are not supportable in fact or law and therefore do not support the termination decision; and because no other E.P.A. employee who committed violations similar to those committed by Dr. Marcus was fired from her or his employment at E.P.A. and considering the treatment Dr. Marcus received from his supervisors before and after he issued his fluoride memo, I conclude that the reasons given for Dr. Marcus, firing were a pretext and that his employment was terminated because he publicly questioned and opposed E.P.A.'s fluoride policy. This action by the agency constitutes a wrongful termination of Dr. Marcus, employment under applicable law.