The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is denying allegations of wrongfully terminating employees in the wake of the tuberculosis outbreak in a public school, DHEC director Catherine Templeton told FOX Carolina.
Templeton said that managers failed to follow protocol in the case of the outbreak, did not move quickly enough in their investigation, and violated DHEC policy.
"There are a number of things that DHEC could've done better, (and) a number of things that are intolerable from an employer's perspective," said Templeton.
On Tuesday, DHEC filed responses to three lawsuits filed by former DHEC employees who say they were let go following the TB outbreak. Malinda Martin, Latrinia Richard and Anne Ashley are all claiming they were wrongfully terminated, and used as scapegoats by DHEC once the epidemic became public.
Attorney John Reckenbeil of Spartanburg - who is representing Martin, Richard and Ashley - maintains that there wasn't a conduit to contact Templeton directly in connection with the case.
There were repeated attempts over and over again by my clients on the ground to get information to the people that make decisions," said Reckenbeil.
Reckenbeil said the next step in their suit will likely be in court.
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