The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and other named defendants have been accused of unjustly firing one of DCF's social workers. The plaintiff alleges that she was retaliated against because she had reported how some of her peers dealt with child abuse cases. She filed her wrongful termination claim in a state superior court, requesting that it be heard by a jury.
The plaintiff claims that she overheard one of her co-workers bragging that he had lied to police about a case for one of his superiors. The co-worker allegedly received a promotion for his efforts. DCF has been scrutinized for several years after the deaths of several children living in circumstances known by DCF to be abusive.
Allegedly, the woman's superior accused her of not conducting enough child visits and not posting her schedule properly. The plaintiff asserts that she had documentation to prove she was doing everything correctly. She claims that information was ignored. The meeting apparently caused the plaintiff to suffer a panic attack. Shortly thereafter, she was notified that DCF may discipline her based upon the prior allegations she made about her supervisor and co-worker.
The plaintiff further claims she is the victim of a hostile work environment. She also asserts that, due to agency orders, she was forced to violate the privacy of children by viewing the bodies of all children in her caseload, even if there was no history of child abuse. Furthermore, she claims that DCF did not thoroughly investigate cases of abuse that she brought to the attention of the Massachusetts state agency. In her wrongful termination claim, she seeks damages of $725,000 against the named defendants.
Source: sentinelandenterprise.com, "Social worker says she was wrongfully terminated at DCF", Jon Bishop, Sept. 3, 2015