Boston Scientific prevails in employment case

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Boston ScientificBoston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) has won summary judgment in an employment discrimination lawsuit brought by a former regional manager.

Boston Scientific fired the former manager, Michael Simons, in 2015 for impaired job performance due to alcohol consumption, being intoxicated at work events and getting arrested for drunken driving during work hours and failing to disclose the arrest, according to the facts of the case.

After the company issued two written warnings to Simons about his behavior, Simons emailed his supervisor citing complaints by Simons’ staff about the supervisor’s behavior. A company investigation found no wrong-doing.

Simons requested and was granted a 30-day leave to “address his alcoholism.” After his return to work, the company hired a private security team who turned up the DUI arrest. Boston Scientific subsequently fired Simons.

Simons sued the company and two superiors in New Jersey state court following his termination, alleging violations of state anti-discrimination law, the Family Medical Leave Act and a New Jersey employment protection law. Among his claims, Simons referred to the email to his supervisor as “whistleblowing,” although it included his promise to keep it confidential.

The state court ruled that Simons did not prove that Boston Scientific had discriminated against him for taking a leave of absence or that it had fired him for “purported whistleblowing.” A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Third Circuit agreed and dismissed the case.

Simons’ attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.


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