Monongalia man says he was fired for blowing whistle

By Cara Bailey | Mar 29, 2007

MORGANTOWN - A Monongalia County man claims his former employer wrongly fired him for expressing concern over illegal actions the business was doing.

Thomas Beal filed a suit Feb. 28 in Monongalia Circuit Court against Monro Muffler Brake Inc. Beal claims he was fired abruptly after he questioned whether the garage should have been illegally providing inspection stickers to other places.

One of Beal's responsibilities as a manager of the Westover location of Monro Muffler Brake Inc. included regulating and overseeing the inspection of vehicles and to keep track of inspection stickers.

While Beal was employed with Monro, he learned other locations around Morgantown had lost the right to inspect vehicles due to violations of West Virginia law.

Around the same time, Beal's supervisor, Andy Idler, told Beal to start sending inspection stickers registered to the Westover location to the locations whose rights were suspended "so the latter locations could illegally perform inspections using stickers that had been registered to a different location," the suit says.

The complaint states Beal immediately questioned Idler, but was told that he was to do what he was told if he wanted to keep his job.

Beal continued to complain about doing something illegal. In December 2005, after arguing with Idler about the unlawful practices, he was "abruptly" fired.

Beal claims he has suffered a loss of income and benefits, emotional damage, financial hardship and other damages.

He, through his counsel David Grunau, seeks punitive and compensatory damages, as well as court fees.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number 07-C-139

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