Former boxing commish alleges retaliation, says he was fired for speaking out

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Larry Hazzard Sr., former New Jersey Athletic Control Board commissioner, has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against state Attorney General Anne Milgram.

Hazzard, a former boxer and referee, says he was fired from his position on the board, which oversees boxing in Atlantic City, for reporting legal and safety-related violations.

Hazzard was fired last November, one month after he sent a memo to the governor’s office accusing subordinate Sylvester Cuyler of allowing a boxer who failed an HIV test to fight, ignoring the advice of commission doctors and allowing urine samples to be stored in an unsecured refrigerator. Shortly after Hazzard left, Cuyler was appointed to replace him as acting commissioner.

Any adverse employment actions that follow on the heels of an employee complaint are risky. That doesn’t mean complainers get carte blanche, but employers should be very careful to document legitimate business reasons for any actions in the wake of complaints.

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