Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
58 N.Y.2d 293 *; 448 N.E.2d 86 **; 461 N.Y.S.2d 232 ***; 1983 N.Y. LEXIS 2925 ****; 31 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 782; 115 L.R.R.M. 4953; 98 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P55,407; 31 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) P33,607
Joseph Murphy, Appellant, v. American Home Products Corporation, Respondent
Prior History: [****1] Appeal from an order of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the First Judicial Department, entered June 24, 1982, which unanimously modified, on the law, and, as modified, affirmed an order of the Supreme Court at Special Term (Beatrice Shainswit, J.; opn 112 Misc 2d 507), entered in New York County, granting defendant's motion to dismiss the second, third, fourth and fifth causes of action of the amended complaint and denying defendant's motion to dismiss the first cause of action. The modification consisted of granting the motion to dismiss the first cause of action of the amended complaint.
Plaintiff was first employed by defendant in 1957 and thereafter served in various accounting positions. At no time did plaintiff have a formal contract of employment with defendant. On April 18, 1980 when he was 59 years old, he was discharged. Plaintiff claims that he was fired for two reasons: because of his disclosure of alleged accounting improprieties on the part of corporate personnel, and because of his age. Plaintiff also contends that he was dismissed in a humiliating manner. On April 14, 1981, plaintiff filed a summons in the present action with the New York County [****2] Clerk. Another summons and a complaint were served on defendant on June 5, 1981. The complaint set out causes of action for wrongful discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distress, prima facie tort and breach of contract. On October 16, 1981, plaintiff served an amended complaint which added a fifth cause of action alleging that plaintiff was denied advancement due to his age in violation of section 296 of the Executive Law. Special Term denied defendant's motion to dismiss the wrongful discharge tort claim, but dismissed the other four causes of action. Special Term held the cause of action for breach of contract barred by the Statute of Frauds and ruled that plaintiff's allegations as to the manner of his dismissal were not sufficient to support the causes of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress or for prima facie tort. The court found the discrimination claim untimely as barred by the one-year period of limitation set out in subdivision 5 of section 297 of the Executive Law. The Appellate Division modified to the extent of granting the motion to dismiss the first cause of action, holding that New York does not recognize a cause of action for abusive [****3] discharge.
The Court of Appeals modified the Appellate Division order by reinstating the fifth cause of action for age discrimination and, as modified, affirmed, holding, in an opinion by Judge Jones, that New York does not recognize a cause of action in tort for abusive or wrongful discharge of an "at-will" employee; that the complaint does not state a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress, for prima facie tort or for breach of contract; that the breach of contract action, however, is not barred by the Statute of Frauds; that the fifth cause of action to recover damages for an unlawful discriminatory practice under subdivision 9 of section 297 of the Executive Law is governed by the three-year Statute of Limitations set out in CPLR 214 (subd 2), and that, accordingly, said claim is not time barred.
Murphy v American Home Prods. Corp., 88 AD2d 870.
Disposition: Order modified, with costs to appellant, by reinstating the fifth cause of action and, as so modified, affirmed.
cause of action, termination, good faith, at-will, employees, employment contract, Rights, contracts, courts, subdivision, public policy, reasons, terms, wrongful discharge, abusive discharge, obligations, discharged, duration, intentional infliction of emotional distress, age discrimination, breach of contract, right to terminate, alleges, damages, hiring, civil action, limitations, disclosure, indefinite, one-year
Labor & Employment Law, Wrongful Termination, General Overview, Torts, Procedural Matters, Commencement & Prosecution, Intentional Torts, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Governments, Legislation, Statute of Limitations, Time Limitations, Discrimination, Actionable Discrimination, Evidence, Inferences & Presumptions, Employment Relationships, At Will Employment, Duration of Employment, Remedies, Business & Corporate Compliance, Contracts Law, Types of Contracts, Express Contracts, Contracts Law, Contract Interpretation, Good Faith & Fair Dealing, Exceptions, Implied Contracts, Employment Contracts, Breach of Contract, Age Discrimination, Scope & Definitions, Civil Rights Law, Regulators, Civil Rights Commissions, Complaints, Statute of Limitations, Civil Procedure, Pleadings, Complaints