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Hines v. Elf Atochem N. Am.

United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Paducah Division

February 4, 1993, Decided

CIVIL ACTION No. C-91-0269-P(J)

Opinion

 [*551]  MEMORANDUM OPINION

Giving the plaintiff the most favorable interpretation of the allegations in her complaint, the depositions and affidavits the court has gleaned the following:

In 1980 Regina Hines was elevated from her position as a part-time nurse to a full-time salaried nurse at the Elf Atochem North America, Inc. plant. Hines alleges that two of her supervisors directed that she (1) not make OSHA incident reports; (2) falsify OSHA records; and (3) provide confidential employee informational records. After she refused to comply with their orders the supervisors harassed and retaliated by not giving her adequate materials, equipment, educational seminars, sufficient work space, or payment for membership in professional organizations. She further alleges that such denials led to stress for which she sought medical attention and took a two-week [**2]  leave of absence and that when she returned to work the harassment was worse. On August 27, 1990 she obtained an extended medical leave.

On October 19, 1990 Hines met with the plant physician and company representatives to discuss her return to work. During the discussion she presented to them list of changes she wanted made to her working conditions. By certified letter, dated three days letter, the Manager of Industrial Relations stated that he was advised that Hines phoned Dr. Ornella advising him that her personal physician had released her to return to work but that she was not willing to do so unless certain employment conditions were satisfied. The defendants construed her itemized changes as "a necessary prerequisite for [her] return to work" and not being able to make the requested changes her voluntary resignation was accepted and her termination was effective October 19, 1990.

On October 22, 1990 Hines sent a certified letter stating, among other things, that she had not been released to return to work, that she was still under doctor's care, she did not intend to voluntarily resign from her position, she expected to continue to receive her sick pay as long as she was off [**3]  work under a physician's care or  [*552]  until her six month sickness pay was exhausted.

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813 F. Supp. 550 *; 1993 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1622 **; 8 I.E.R. Cas. (BNA) 826

REGINA HINES, PLAINTIFF, v. ELF ATOCHEM NORTH AMERICA, INC., DEFENDANT.

CORE TERMS

outrage, termination, employees, wrongful discharge claim, implied contract, summary judgment, return to work, resignation, modified

Labor & Employment Law, Wrongful Termination, Public Policy, Employment Relationships, At Will Employment, General Overview, Exceptions, Tort Exceptions, Public Policy Violations, Business & Corporate Compliance, Labor & Employment Law, Occupational Safety & Health, Civil Liability Under OSHA, Administrative Proceedings, Federal Preemption, Duties & Rights, Implied Contracts, Contracts Law, Types of Contracts, Futures, Oral Agreements, Torts, Intentional Torts, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Elements, Elements, Causation