Tort Law

Wrongful Termination

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Wrongful Termination Cases

Brien Roche

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Wrongful Termination.

2014 Anthony v. Verizon Virginia, Inc., 288 Va. 20, 758 S.E.2d 527.
Issue was whether or not claims of fraud and negligent infliction of emotional distress were preempted under the Federal Labor Statute. Supreme Court answered the question in the negative.

2000 Mitchem v. Counts, 259 Va. 179, 523 S.E.2d 246.
Sex discrimination claim based upon Virginia Human Rights Act and common-law action. Virginia Human Rights Act does not bar common-law action for wrongful termination of employment based on violation of public policies not reflected in the Human Rights Act when the conduct alleged also violates a public policy reflected in the Human Rights Act.

1999 Conner v. National Pest Control Ass’n, 257 Va. 286, 513 S.E.2d 398.
Plaintiff asserted common-law cause of action for wrongful termination alleging her termination constituted discrimination based on gender and that it violated public policy against retaliation for complaints of discrimination in employment as stated in the Virginia Human Rights Act and other provisions of Virginia and Federal law. Supreme court ruled that 1995 amendment to Virginia Human Rights Act limited actions based on violations of policies reflected in the Act to applicable statutory causes of action and remedies only. Common-law cause of action is abrogated.

1999 Cooley v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 257 Va. 518, 514 S.E.2d 770.
Plaintiff filed suit claiming he was fired by employer because he intended to file worker’s compensation claim. Jury returned verdict for $36,450 in favor of plaintiff. Trial court set verdict aside. Va. Code § 65.2-308 requires that plaintiff present evidence, which establishes that he was terminated solely because he had intended to file worker’s compensation claim. Evidence of record clearly establishes that Tyson Food, which had conducted thorough investigation, was entitled to conclude, based upon facts it discovered during investigation, that it had legitimate non-pretextural reason to terminate Cooley. As such, Tyson Food is not liable.

1999 Dray v. New Mkt. Poultry Prods., Inc., 258 Va. 187, 518 S.E.2d 312.
Virginia’s employment at-will doctrine does not recognize generalized common-law whistle-blower retaliatory discharge claim. In this case, the Virginia Meat and Poultry Inspection Act did not confer any rights or duties that abrogate that doctrine. Plaintiff in this case was quality control supervisor at poultry plant where she had difficulty having other employees follow proper sanitary procedures. She informed the plant’s governmental inspectors. Plaintiff was discharged for violating previous order that she was not to inform government inspectors of unsanitary conditions. Plaintiff alleged termination was in contravention of public policy reflected in Virginia Meat and Poultry Inspection Act. Supreme court rejects that argument.

1999 Parrish v. Worldwide Travel Serv., Inc., 257 Va. 465, 512 S.E.2d 818.
Plaintiff was terminated for cause. Plaintiff had sold his travel business and entered into three-year employment contract which stated that he could be terminated only for cause. Evidence in this case indicated that plaintiff disregarded new employer’s instruction as to obtaining new customers. Plaintiff’s refusal to perform that function was a material breach of the contract and was basis for termination.

1998 Shaw v. Titan Corp., 255 Va. 535, 498 S.E.2d 696.
Cause of action for wrongful termination of employment derives from common law and is tort claim.

1987 Miller v. Sevamp, 234 Va. 462, 362 S.E.2d 915.
Virginia has not recognized generalized cause of action for retaliatory discharge.

For more information on wrongful termination see the pages on Wikipedia.

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Wrongful Termination

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