Appeals Upholds Dismissal Of Child Welfare Workers Lawsuit

Dec 28, 2016

Deb Harper speaks as (from left) Michelle Parker, Tracey Everitt, Jana Leineweber and Janet Sabol listen during a press conference at their attorney's office in Phoenix in 2014
Credit David Wallace/The Arizona Republic

A state appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by five former Arizona child welfare workers who were fired amid an agency scandal.

The Arizona Court of Appeals released the ruling on Tuesday affirming the lower court's decision to dismiss the suit.

The five senior CPS workers were fired in April 2014 after the discovery in November 2013 that thousands of child abuse hotline calls were labeled as not worthy of being investigated. The scandal resulted in the agency being shuttered and a new Department of Child Safety being created.

The workers, all of whom were women, argued they were let go for political reasons and not because they failed at their jobs.

But the appeals court found that they were at-will employees who were not protected by state law.