An ex-Hologic (NSDQ:HOLX) accountant is suing the company after allegedly being terminated for reporting on possible illegal accounting practice that included reclassifying accounting numbers to show higher profit margins, according to court documents.
The plaintiff and ex-Hologic employee, Karmen Smiley, filed the lawsuit in California’s Superior Court in San Diego County claiming that she became a target of harassment after reporting the problems to her superiors, and was terminated shortly after.
Prior to the issues, which emerged in 2015, Smiley claims she had no issues with her employer, and was well reviewed.
“During her entire time working for Gen-Probe, and for the first few years working for Hologic, Ms. Smiley was never disciplined. In fact, she received numerous performance awards during her tenure. As recently as 2014,Ms. Smiley received a performance review stating she consistently meets and occasionally exceeds expectations,” court documents on the suit claim.
In 2015, Smiley said she witnessed what she believed were violations of state and federal law by her superiors in the Hologic accounting department, and communicated those issues to the company’s director of cost accounting and finance manager.
Smiley said that during the time she witnessed violations, she was ordered to reclassify $3.4 million of domestic costs to “various European Hologic locations.”
The plaintiff claims that after she reported the alleged violations, management at Hologic became aware of these reports and retaliated with a “campaign of harassment” that created a hostile work environment for her.
On July 23, 2015, Smiley was terminated by Hologic, and claims that her reporting of possible illegal activities was a substantial factor in her firing.
Smiley is suing for back pay, loss of future wages, lost benefits, emotional distress, attorney fees and punitive damages.
A spokesperson for Hologic told GenomeWeb that the company denies the allegations and is vigorously defending itself, adding that Hologic conducted an independent investigation of the claims and “found them to be without merit.”