Employment Termination/Discrimination Claims
Although Massachusetts is an "employment at will" state, statutory remedies are available for employees subjected to illegal discrimination. I have experience handling discrimination and other employment claims in the administrative, court and appellate level. I represented the defendant in both cases summarized below. In Tuper v. North Adams Ambulance Service, after a supervisor was fired for insubordination, he sued claiming wrongful termination, in violation of his employment contract which provided he could only be fired upon "just cause." He also sued individuals and board members alleging they interfered withis employh ment contract, causing another party to cancel a loan agreement for his side business, and defamed his reputation. Following discovery, the court granted summary judgment on all except for the breach of employment contact claim. The case was tried and the jury found the plaintiff did not prove the employer lacked "just cause" to fire him. On appeal, the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a trial court ruling that an administrative decision - - which found the employee without fault for his firing and awarded him unemployment benefits - - was not binding on the court and was not admissible evidence.
In Weissman v. Altra Marine Products, a federal jury denied damages for wrongful termination of a manufacturer's representative. Before trial, the court granted summary judgment on the breach of contract claim. The issues of fraud, promissory estoppel, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and breach of contract damages were tried before the jury. The jury found for the manufacturer on all claims except one for rejecting orders during the termination notice period, and awarded $6,000, far less than had been demanded while the case was pending.