Folz v. ODOT

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Employment Law
  • Date Filed: 09-07-2017
  • Case #: A158016
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 659A.203(1), it is unlawful for any public employer to threaten to take, or actually take, disciplinary action against an employee for her disclosure of evidence which she reasonably believes is indicative of her employer's violation of a federal, state, or local law. For purposes of the statute, "disclosure" is to include official reports within the agency or department. Bjurstrom v. Oregon Lottery, 202 Or App 162, 169, 120 P3d 1235 (2005).

Plaintiff appealed dismissal of claims on summary judgment relating to her employer's retaliatory actions against her after she reported possible disability discrimination violations. On appeal, Plaintiff assigned error to the trial court’s grant of summary judgment for the defendant Plaintiff argued the employer violated multiple whistleblowing statutes through retaliation. In response, the state argued that those protections are not applicable to complaints made to an administrative body. Under ORS 659A.203(1), it is unlawful for any public employer to threaten to take, or actually take, disciplinary action against an employee for her disclosure of evidence which she reasonably believes is indicative of her employer's violation of a federal, state, or local law. For purposes of the statute, "disclosure" is to include official reports within the agency or department. Bjurstrom v. Oregon Lottery, 202 Or App 162, 169, 120 P3d 1235 (2005). The Court of Appeals determined that Plaintiff provided no evidence that any of the actions she claimed to be retaliation would qualify as a disclosure of evidence that is indicative of a violation of law. Instead, Plaintiff’s statements were merely opinions and a recommendation on an alternative course of action during the decision making process in accordance with her job duties. Affirmed.

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