GBSO Obtains Employment Law Victory before the Idaho Supreme Court

10-Jul-2014

On March 15, 2013, Phil Oberrecht, Shareholder of Greener Burke Shoemaker Oberrecht, P.A., assisted by Associate Attorneys Jason Mau and Slade Sokol, obtained a jury verdict in favor of a local Boise corporation, Internet Auto Rent & Sales, Inc. GBSO successfully defended against numerous employment claims brought against Internet Auto by a former employee, Tina Venable.  Prior to trial, GBSO obtained dismissal at the summary judgment phase of claims for breach of employment contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  At trial, GBSO was successful in defeating the plaintiff’s remaining claims of slander per se and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Following trial, the plaintiff appealed the court’s dismissal of her claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.  On June 17, 2014, however, the Idaho Supreme Court issued its Opinion, again in favor of Internet Auto, opining that plaintiff had failed to prove her case.  Specifically, the Idaho Supreme Court held that the plaintiff (1) failed to submit sufficient evidence that Internet Auto’s alleged conduct was actually illegal; and (2) failed to provide any evidence of her own conduct, in attempting to show that she was engaged in a protected activity (by refusing to engage in unlawful business practices).  Because the lower court had already considered and denied plaintiff’s two prior motions for reconsideration, and plaintiff failed to provide any new evidence to the court which would give it reason to change its order, the Supreme Court not only ruled in favor of Internet Auto but also granted an award of attorney fees and costs on appeal because it deemed the appeal to have been brought or pursued frivolously.

Phil Oberrecht has extensive experience representing employment issues and can be reached at (208) 319-2600 or poberrecht@greenerlaw.com.