The ?employee ?in ?this? case ?worked ?for Kitsap County for 16 years.?? For three years, he secretly? recorded? conversations? with? co-workers and members of the public because he feared retaliatory harassment.?? He filed a whistleblower complaint? and? submitted? the? recordings.?? ?Two years later he filed an EEOC complaint and was fired five weeks after that.?? He was told to not delete anything from his laptop.? ?He deleted a program that allowed him to download and store the unauthorized recordings.

The employee was originally granted unemployment benefits.?? The Administrative Law Judge agreed but the Commissioner reversed. ?The Superior Court upheld the Commissioner and Division II affirmed. ?The appellate court reasoned that the recordings were both illegal and damaging to the County?s interests.? ?The court refused to consider whether whistleblowing was the real reason for termination. ?Smith v. ESD, No. 37492-7 (3/9/2010) (Quinn-Brintnall, Hunt, Penoyar)