The Law Office Of

Neal Jacobs

8118 Corporate Way, Suite 110, Mason Ohio 45040


Wrongful Discharge In Violation Of Public Policy

Federal and state law sets forth a broad range of statutes that protect employees.  Ohio also recognizes a cause of action for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy in certain circumstances.  This is an exception to the general rule of "employment at will"--the doctrine that absent a identifiable statute an employee can be terminated with or without cause.  

A claim for violation of public policy arises when:  (1) there is a clear public policy reflected in the state or federal constitution, a statute or administrative regulation, or in the common law (the "clarity" element);  (2) dismissing the employee would jeopardize that public policy (the "jeopardy" element);  (3) the employee's dismissal is motivated by conduct related to the public policy (the "causation" element) and (4) that the employer lacked overriding legitimate business justification for the dismissal (the "overriding justification" element).

The clarity and jeopardy elements are issues of law for a Court's determination while the causation and overriding justification elements are questions for determination by a jury.  If a court does not find a clear expression of a public policy; or that dismissal of the employee would jeopardize the public policy, the claim cannot proceed to a jury for review.  


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