In May of 2013, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky heard a case that involved a man who claims he complained about his supervisor making threatening comments about him and was wrongfully terminated. (See Litz v. University of Kentucky, 2013 WL 2257697 (E. D. KY 2013)). The plaintiff worked for the defendant from 2007 until June 10, 2010. Id. Plaintiff worked as an Emergency Transportation Communications Technician for the last two plus years of his employment.
While at work there was an incident whereby the plaintiff saw another employee damage a company vehicle. The plaintiff reported it. But, the plaintiff’s supervisor was heard over a recorded line getting mad that the plaintiff reported it and made threatening remarks on the phone call. The plaintiff with this information reported it to his HR claiming he had been threatened and needed her help. During the HR’s investigation, plaintiff was suspended pending the investigation into whether he had violated the department rules when he recorded the 911 dispatch line. It was a paid leave.
Finally, HR determined that the recording that the plaintiff did was in violation of their rules, but allowed the plaintiff to come back to work. Plaintiff said he did not want to come back to the same job but be transferred. The HR person said to him that he could apply for any posted position at the University. Id. The plaintiff was put on a work schedule pending his transfer to a new position, but the plaintiff did not show up to work. HR sent him an email saying that he had to show up or risk termination. Still, plaintiff did not show up. The defendant terminated the plaintiff on June 10, 2010 due to his “job abandonment.” Id. Though the plaintiff thought he was wrongfully terminated.
Plaintiff hired a Kentucky wrongfully terminated attorney who filed a lawsuit alleging state law claims for wrongful discharge, intentional infliction of emotion distress, a 1983 action and a due process claim.
Since one of the defendants is a state school, they are offered immunity as to some of the counts. Further, the employees are also afforded immunity as to their official capacities in working at the school. The court dismissed the First Amendment claim by the plaintiff with regard to the retaliation claim. The only things that remained were the State law claims against the individual defendants. But, this Federal court declined to rule on them as it had dismissed all of the federal claims and thus remanded the case to the state circuit court to handle the remaining state law claims.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky wrongfully terminated case, please call and speak to a Kentucky wrongfully terminated lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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