Timothy J. O’Brien and Tyler J. Smith recently obtained a recommended decision favorable to their client on a motion for summary judgment filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maine. Tim and Tyler represented an employer who discharged an employee for insubordinate behavior. After being discharged, the employee filed a complaint in court claiming she was discharged for making a report to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) about the employer.
The federal magistrate judge agreed with Tim and Tyler that, because the employee’s job duties included making reports to DHHS, the employee’s report was not a “protected activity” under the Whistleblower’s Protection Act. Accordingly, the magistrate issued a recommended decision that the motion for summary judgment be granted, avoiding the need for a trial. Because the employee’s activity was not protected under the statute, it was not necessary for the court to consider the employer’s argument that there was no evidence linking the DHHS report to the employee’s discharge.
Timothy J. O’Brien is a partner at Libby O’Brien Kingsley & Champion, where his practice includes representing businesses and individuals in the areas of civil litigation, employment law, sports law and information privacy and data security issues.