Rep. Doug Lamborn fights lawsuit claiming ‘reckless’ response to COVID-19 pandemic
Lamborn’s former staffer, Brandon Pope, filed the complaint against the congressman on Thursday, claiming he “had a reckless and dangerous approach to COVID-19” and “retaliated against” Pope “for seeking to protect employees from unsafe conditions in the workplace.”
Pope alleges that Lamborn fired him on Dec. 7, 2020, after he “vocally opposed Lamborn’s reckless refusal to adopt any reasonable safety protocols in the District Office and placed employees and others at significant risk of serious illness or death as a result of COVID-19 infection.”
A spokesperson for Lamborn’s office called the claims “unsubstantiated.”
“The workplace safety allegations made by Mr. Pope are unsubstantiated and did not result in the termination of his employment. Congressman Lamborn looks forward to full vindication as all facts come to light,” Cassandra Sebastian, a spokesperson for Lamborn, told Fox News in a statement.
The lawsuit alleges that Lamborn did not require staffers to wear masks in his D.C. office and did not “permit all employees” to practice social distancing.
Lamborn temporarily closed his office after several staff members contracted COVID-19 in October 2020 after he “refused to implement or follow reasonable and responsible COVID-19 protocols,” the lawsuit states, alleging that the congressman’s direction resulted “in the widespread transmission of the virus throughout both the District and Washington, D.C.”
Finally, the complaint alleges that Lamborn “gave his son the necessary access to live in a storage area in the basement of the U.S. Capitol for a period of weeks when Lamborn’s son relocated to Washington, D.C. for work.”
Pope’s lawyers argue in the complaint that Lamborn violated The Congressional Accountability Act, which makes it “unlawful for an employing office to intimidate, take reprisal against, or otherwise discriminate against, any covered employee because the covered employee has opposed any practice made unlawful by Act.”