Doctors' Office Manager's firing upheld; still entitled to future bonusesDoctors Nasir Ali and Mir Asghar recruited Hora Loloee to be the Office Manager of their new Advance Urgent Care Clinic. They persuaded her to invest $20,000.00 in the business and the new partners volleyed contract terms several times before Loloee quit her old job, wrote the Doctors a check for her investment share and started work. Within two months, however, the doctors downgraded her status, her pay and her employment rights, while tendering her investment back.
Loloee argued that she was ultimately terminated for complaining about one of the doctor's inappropriate comments about women. She also argued that the original down-grade and ultimate termination were a breach of the employment agreement. The doctors responded that they terminated Loloee for cause, describing errors she had made in preparing the EKG machine and in x-raying a fractured elbow.
The Court of Appeals ultimately concluded that although the parties had not completely executed the signature lines on the original contract, their agreement to its terms was manifested by the fact that all parties undertook performance. As a result, the "for cause" termination applied--but had been documented and satisfied--by the doctors. Similarly, the bonus term "inartfully drafted" into the contract also applied, entitling Loloee to continue to collect bonuses regardless of termination.
In addition to dismissing Loloee's breach of contract terms, the Court also dismissed her claims of retaliatory discharge, since she had failed to establish a reasonable basis to believe that the admitted cause for discipline [the EKG and x-ray errors] was a mere pretext for firing her.