Wednesday 17 January 2018

Former VW employee sues over data - reports

'The reports did not say what kind of data was being deleted' Stock photo: PA
'The reports did not say what kind of data was being deleted' Stock photo: PA

Fabrizio Bensch

A former employee of Volkswagen's US subsidiary is suing the company for damages, claiming he was unlawfully fired after flagging internally what he alleged was illegal deletion of data, according to a group of German media outlets.

The former employee at Volkswagen Group of America's data processing centre in Michigan is seeking unspecified damages for losing his job after he tried from September of last year to stop a co-worker from deleting data, German broadcasters WDR and NDR as well as newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which are working together on the case, cited court documents as saying.

The reports did not say what kind of data was being deleted. However, the media reports said the former Volkswagen employee claimed Volkswagen in the United States had destroyed evidence in relation to the emissions scandal.

The deletions took place, it was reported, after a US Department of Justice order to stop any "routine" data deletion at Volkswagen of America. The former Volkswagen employee said he was following his manager's orders in trying the stop the deletions, the reports stated. He also said an ensuing row over the matter and Volkwagen's fears he would alert the authorities led to his dismissal.

The legal complaint claims protection from retaliation under a US whistleblower law.

The carmaker is facing a series of legal complaints and regulatory investigations after revelations last year that it manipulated engine control software to understate emissions during tests.

A German spokesman for Volkswagen said: "These are legal proceedings concerning labour law on which we don't comment as a matter of principle."

Irish Independent

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