- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Employment Law
- Date Filed: 03-03-2021
- Case #: A171515
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J. & Aoyagi, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Employee filed a “common-law claim for ‘wrongful termination,'” and Employer filed a motion to dismiss. Employee assigned error to the trial court granting the dismissal with prejudice, and concluded that Employee's “claim is abrogated by an existing, adequate statutory remedy.” Employee argued that her claim does not fall under the statute as she alleged termination on the basis for seeking out legal advice due to harassment at work to which the Employer did not respond. Employer contended that the claim brought by Employee was “a garden variety retaliation claim” and that “‘a plaintiff alleging retaliatory termination must bring that claim, if at all, under either a federal or state statute.’” Deatherage. Johnson, 230 Or App 422, 426, 215 P3d 125 (2009). Under ORS 659.199, a plaintiff may bring a claim if they “reported evidence of unlawful activity and were terminated.” Hall v. State of Oregon, 274 Or App 445, 451, 366 P3d 345 (2015) A common law wrongful termination claim may be brought if ORS 659A.199 does not apply or provide an appropriate remedy. Id. at 451. The Court found that Employee did not allege termination due to violation that she reported, but rather for seeking counsel. Thus, the Court held there is no statutory remedy available to the Employee, and as such, she may bring forth a common law claim. Reversed and remanded as to common-law claim for wrongful termination; otherwise affirmed.