LOS ANGELES (CN) – Home Depot fired the manager of its Glendora store because he testified truthfully to a grand jury about the chain’s handling of hazardous materials, which resulted in a $10 million judgment against it, the man says in a whistleblower claim in Superior Court.
Erik Jetmir, a Home Depot employee since 2002, claims the Glendora store he managed was one of the top performers in California. He claims the chain fired him “pretextually and with an ulterior motive” a year ago, after falsely accusing him of violating the company code of conduct, an accusation he calls “specious and wholly without merit.”
“(T)he real reason for his termination was his whistleblowing activities, including disclosure of certain improper and/or illegal conduct regarding the handling of hazardous materials on the part of defendant, along with plaintiff’s related grand jury testimony in August 2006 in connection with an action by the State of California against Home Depot, which in October 2007 resulted in a ten millions dollars ($10,000,000) judgment against said defendant. Plaintiff acted as a ‘whistleblower,'” according to the complaint – a protected status under the state Labor Code.
Jetmir seeks damages for breach of contract, tortious discharge, retaliation and unfair competition. He is represented by Todd Becker of Long Beach.