Bova v. City of Medford

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Employment Law
  • Date Filed: 04-02-2014
  • Case #: A144254 (Control), A146597, A147477
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 243.303(2), the Supreme Court has rejected the argument that "if there are providers available who are willing to provide [health insurance] coverage that includes retirees, the city must provide that coverage, regardless of cost or other circumstances" and reasons that the statute was not intended to be “unduly burdensome”; Under ORS 659A.030(1)(b), a plaintiff’s complaint must plead age discrimination based on a theory of disparate impact.

In a consolidated appeal, City of Medford and its city manager (the city) appealed judgments in favor of a now-retired employee of the city. Employee brought a class action suit for declaratory and injunctive relief against the city because the city did not offer the same health care insurance when they retired. The trial court made several judgments: (1) the city’s failure to offer coverage to retired employees violated ORS 243.303(2); (2) the city was ordered to provide class members with the option to buy the same health insurance coverage upon retirement; (3) the employer was awarded attorney fees for the city’s contempt of court order’s in failing to comply with ORS 243.303(2); and (4) by failing to offer employee the same health coverage upon retirement, the city violated ORS 659A.030(1)(b), discrimination based on age. The Court of Appeals made three judgments. First, in A1442554 the trial court erred by granting summary judgment to the employee’s claim for declaratory and injunctive relief under ORS 243.303(2), because Doyle v. City of Medford, 347 Or 564, 227 P3d 683 (2010), a Supreme Court decision issued after summary judgment, directly conflicts with the trial court’s ruling (limited judgment reversed and remanded). Second, in A146597, the city’s appeal of the attorneys fees is dismissed, because supplemental judgment for attorney’s fees ruled under ORS 243.303(2) cannot be appealed. Third, in A147477, the trial court erred in allowing the employee to try the age discrimination claim under ORS 659A.030(1)(b), because the theory of disparate impact had not been plead by the employee, thus that claim is reversed. Otherwise, affirmed.

Advanced Search