Employee discharged after "protected activity" still cannot sue for retaliation
In Wiechmann v. Home Care Alternatives, LLC, the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff's Whistleblower Protection Act retaliation claim. The Court acknowledged that the plaintiff was discharged (the employer claimed she resigned) and agreed that she was engaged in protected [Whistleblowing] activity in ordering the report of suspected abuse. Nevertheless, it affirmed the summary disposition of her wrongful discharge case because she "only" proved that the discharge happened near in time to the protected activity.
The Court accepted the defendant's "non-retaliatory" excuse for discharge (that "the plaintiff had threatened to resign multiple times in one week") as "truth" and rejected her constitutional right to have the evidence weighed by a jury of her peers. According to the employer- and insurer-friendly judges, she needed a "smoking gun"--and the defendants weren't stupid enough to hand her one.