PLAINTIFF WINS RETALIATORY DISCHARGE CLAIM BUT IS AWARDED NO DAMAGES
Early last year in the Circuit Court of Etowah County, the trial judge entered judgment in favor of a plaintiff in her retaliatory discharge claim but awarded her no compensatory or punitive damages.
In the beginning of September 2004 the employee was injured while working for her employer but she did not immediately file for workers’ compensation benefits. Later that month the employee received a letter stating that she was terminated because of her recent performance and not to contact the other employees directly.
In January 2005 , the employee filed for workers’ compensation benefits and that claim was eventually settled in December of 2006. However, during this same time period, the employee also filed a retaliatory discharge claim alleging that she was fired in retaliation for filing a worker’s compensation claim. The employee also alleged that the employer breached an oral contract by not providing her with a third of the business.
After a trial on the merits, the jury found in favor of the employer on the breach of contract claim and in favor of the employee on the retaliatory discharge claim but awarded no money in either compensatory or punitive damages.