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Law School Case Brief

Weiner v. McGraw-Hill - 57 N.Y.2d 458, 457 N.Y.S.2d 193, 443 N.E.2d 441 (1982)

Rule:

An agreement on the part of an employer not to dismiss an employee except for good and sufficient cause only and, if such cause was given, until the prescribed procedures to rehabilitate had failed, does not create an ineluctable employment at will.

Facts:

The employee sued the employer for breach of an employment agreement. The employee alleged that he was discharged without sufficient cause or the rehabilitation requirements set forth in the personnel handbook and that he rejected other employment offers in reliance on such policies. The employer moved to dismiss the breach of contract claim. The trial court upheld the complaint. The appellate court reversed and granted the motion to dismiss.

Issue:

Was it proper for the court to grant the motion to dismiss?

Answer:

No

Conclusion:

The court reversed the judgment that granted the employer's motion to dismiss and reinstated the order of the trial court upholding the complaint. The court held that the employee stated a cause of action in contract. The court determined that the employer's agreement not to dismiss the employee except for sufficient cause and after rehabilitation attempts did not create an inescapable employment at will.

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