Former RPS CIO's Lawsuit Claims Wrongful Termination

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Former RPS CIO's Lawsuit Claims Wrongful Termination

Related tags: Employment

Research Pharmaceutical Services' (RPS) former chief information officer (CIO) claims he was unfairly dismissed after discovering the CRO was unlawfully storing potential employees' personal data.

Joseph Brennan filed the lawsuit in the US District Court​ for the eastern district of Pennsylvania last week, claiming he was sacked after trying to stop RPS storing information on potential employees’ sexual orientation, religion and political views in its applicant tracking system.

Brennan says he was asked to investigate the company’s privacy practices and hired PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which uncovered this information about the tracking system. When Brennan discovered the “unlawful employment practice​” of storing this information, he claims that he took it up with Joseph Arcangelo, RPS’ vice president of recruiting, and COO Harris Koffer.

But Arcangelo “attempted to justify [RPS’] use of candidates’ personal information…by claiming that it allowed [RPS] to place employees in positions in which they would be most compatible​,” according to the suit filed last week.

Koffer also admitted awareness of the information storage, but he warned Brennan that he should not divulge any of the information about the “unlawful employment practice.​” Brennan still registered his complaint, insisted that the staffing system be re-worked to not track such information and told Koffer he would not cooperate with his instructions.

Employed at RPS from June 2010 to January 2011, the company claims that it fired Brennan because of engaging in business affairs outside the terms of his employment. RPS also claims that he failed to disclose this business with them. However, Brennan claims the company did not have a policy for such disclosures and that there are other employees in similar situations who did not lose their jobs.

Brennan is seeking compensation for the “unlawful retaliation​,” including the loss of earnings, loss of back pay and interest, as well as suffering from “severe emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation and loss of self-esteem​.” Brennan also is looking for a trial by jury.

RPS did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

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