Ex-staffer suing GOP lawmaker for 'reckless' COVID-19 approach

Ex-staffer suing GOP lawmaker for 'reckless' COVID-19 approach
© Greg Nash

A former staffer has accused Rep. Doug LambornDouglas (Doug) LambornDefense & National Security — The mental scars of Afghanistan House committee votes to temporarily postpone Space Command relocation Democrats defeat GOP effort to declare 'lost confidence' in Biden after Afghanistan withdrawal MORE (R-Colo.) of having a "reckless" attitude toward the House's COVID-19 protocols, which the former aide claims led to staffers contracting the virus.

NBC Washington reported that the former aide, Brandon Pope, sued Lamborn on Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging he was fired after bringing attention to concerns about workplace safety.

At the time he was fired, Pope alleges he was “seeking to protect employees from unsafe conditions in the workplace," NBC Washington reported, citing the lawsuit.

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“Lamborn did not require employees in the District Office to wear masks, claiming that he would not allow House Leadership to dictate how he ran his office, and he did not permit all employees to social distance. Worse, when Lamborn and other senior members of his staff became infected with COVID-19 in the fall of 2020, Lamborn refused to implement or follow reasonable and responsible COVID-19 protocols,” the lawsuit alleges.

At least two staffers in Lamborn's office tested positive for COVID-19 last year, according to the Denver Post. The lawmaker also tested positive in November.

A spokesperson for Lamborn on Thursday denied that Pope's firing was connected to his concerns about COVID-19, and added that the allegations that the congressman ignored COVID-19 rules were "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," Lamborn spokeswoman Cassandra Sebastian told The Hill.