Eastern District allows retaliatory discharge claim to go to trial
Judge Lawson of the Eastern District reconsidered his earlier dismissal of a retaliatory discharge claim and determined that Lynn Morrison's case against B. Braun Medical, Inc., should be decided by a jury. The Judge pointed to a recently-decided Sixth Circuit opinion which comports with the Michigan law on retaliatory discharge as the foundation for his change of opinion, along with additional facts supplied by the employee.
The employee allegedly reported anti-kickback law violations and refused to illegally promote medical products. The judge found that within three months she was placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP), and that she was discharged 8 months later. Her claim of disparate treatment (others with lower sales numbers were not subjected to a PIP) and heightened scrutiny in close proximity to the exercise of protected activity, raised a question of fact for the jury to decide.