Illegal Retaliation – The Mike Prendergast Story

To paraphrase the Bible, when building a house you must build a foundation on rock rather than shifting sand to ensure it lasts over the years. By acting with integrity in whatever you do, that solid foundation is reinforced for both your personal and your professional life. Integrity is simply obedience to the unenforceable. It is doing the right thing when no one is looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by; and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.

Integrity is continuing with that same level of effort when the daily routine returns to normal. What if each of one of us could feel proud of our decisions if the details of those decisions were in the evening news? What if each one of us were able to push through the thirty seconds of discomfort to explore the brutal facts and take action and do the right thing? What if each one of us communicated clearly by speaking the truth plainly and openly?

Mike Prendergast, is one of people who made a decision to tell the truth: to put Fundamental Long Term Care, LLC’s, patients’ safety and health ahead of his. He made a courageous decision, not a “What If Decision” but a real decision to do the right thing. And it cost him his job, but not his reputation or his integrity.

In this TV Special, The Insider Exclusive goes behind the headlines to bring you the story of a real hero, Mike Prendergast, who stood up to his bosses at Fundamental Long Term Care, LLC, when they were dead wrong and the amazing story of his lawyers, Whitney Warner and Julie Fritsch, of the law firm of Moody Warner, P.C., who stood up for him in a court of law and got him the justice he so well earned and deserved.

Many violations of the law and many dangers to public health and safety go unreported, because people who know about them are afraid of retaliation. As our livelihoods, and often our health insurance, are dependent on our jobs, the fear of losing a job is pervasive. Whenever the law provides a remedy for victims of retaliation, it encourages employees to come forward with evidence that will make our world safer, healthier and more just.

Many, if not most, of the laws that protect workers, such as antidiscrimination laws, wage and hour protections, and health and safety laws, also make it illegal for an employer to retaliate against someone who engages in conduct which the law protects.

Mike Prendergast practiced what his former employer, Fundamental Long Term Care, LLC, only preached. Mike Prendergast taught Fundamental Long Term Care, LLC, how to “walk their own talk.” There is an old French proverb: There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience. Remember: if you have integrity, nothing else matters; and If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.

Whitney Warner is a founding partner with the labor and employment law firm of Moody & Warner, P.C., representing employers and employees. Her practice is devoted to employment and labor law and includes advice and litigation in the areas of class actions, discrimination, harassment, labor relations, wage and hour issues, EEOC/HRD charges, wrongful termination, and other employment-related matters. Whitney and the firm have been recognized by “Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” each year since 2005 as leaders in employment law in New Mexico. She was also named as one of the top 5% of attorneys by Southwest Super Lawyers in its 2007 and 2008 editions, based on peer nominations.

Julie K. Fritsch is an associate attorney at Moody & Warner, PC. She is a 2003 graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School. She holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame where she received the Notre Dame Scholar Award. After graduating from law school, Julie clerked for three years with United States Magistrate Judge Leslie C. Smith in Las Cruces, NM. She regularly volunteers to mentor current law students and has been active in assisting with mock trial programs, both at the law school and high school levels, in conjunction with the Center for Civic Values.

Moody & Warner, P.C. provides thoughtful and aggressive representation in all areas of labor and employment law. The firm has had significant success representing classes of employees, large groups of employees who work or worked for the same employer, who are victims of discrimination on the basis of race, sex or other prohibited bases, or who have been improperly denied overtime or minimum wage compensation. Moody & Warner also represents individual employees and small groups of employees who are victims or discrimination, wrongful termination or improper pay practices. Moody & Warner represents clients around the nation. The firm’s attorneys are licensed in California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma and represent clients in other states by associating with attorneys in those states.

You can contact Whitney Warner and Julie Fritsch at 505-944-0033, or