Sharma v. Providence Health & Services-Oregon

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Employment Law
  • Date Filed: 01-04-2018
  • Case #: A157739
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, C.J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Shorr, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Hernandez-Nolt v. Washington County, 283 Or App 633, 641, rev den, 361 Or 543 (2017), to succeed on a wrongful discharge claim using a constructive discharge theory, a plaintiff must prove "that the employer’s motive for the constructive discharge was the plaintiff’s exercise of a job-related right or an important public duty."

Plaintiff appealed from a general judgment, which dismissed all of the claims made against multiple defendants. Plaintiff, a cardiothoracic surgeon who resigned from Providence Hospital ("Providence") following disagreements over working standards and conditions, assigned error to the trial court's grants of summary judgment to defendants for  wrongful discharge and several other tort claims. On appeal, Plaintiff argued there were triable issues of fact showing he was wrongfully discharged because he resigned as a result of intolerable working conditions created by Providence, thus creating a constructive discharge. Under Hernandez-Nolt v. Washington County, 283 Or App 633, 641, rev den, 361 Or 543 (2017), to succeed on a wrongful discharge claim using a constructive discharge theory, a plaintiff must prove "that the employer’s motive for the constructive discharge was the plaintiff’s exercise of a job-related right or an important public duty." Since there was no evidence on the record from which a reasonable juror could infer that Providence was prompted by Plaintiff's exercise of any such right or duty, when it created or maintained the working conditions that Plaintiff alleged "were intolerable and caused him to resign," the Court of Appeals concluded the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to Providence on Plaintiff's wrongful discharge claim. Affirmed.

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