$450K for fired worker who reported cocaine use

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – A Hollywood visual effects specialist fired for reporting on-the-job cocaine use is getting at least $450,000 for wrongful termination. A Los Angeles jury deliberated much of the day Tuesday before returning the verdict in favor of Andrew MacDonald, who sued Ascent Media Group Inc. in 2009.

The jury also found that one or more company officers acted with malice, triggering a Wednesday penalty phase of trial.

City News Service says McDonald was in the men’s bathroom when he saw an executive use cocaine. He reported the incident to a supervisor and was fired. MacDonald filed a wrongful termination suit a year later.

Ascent Media lawyers claimed MacDonald was fired for videotaping the executive in the privacy of the men’s restroom. MacDonald denied the videotaping allegation.

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