Gray v. American HomePatient, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-040-15, 9 pp.) (David Norton, J.) 2:14-cv-01207; D.S.C.
Holding: The public policy exception to the employment-at-will doctrine does not extend to situations where the employee has an existing statutory remedy for wrongful termination. Insofar as plaintiff asserts that defendant fired her for complying with a subpoena, since S.C. Code Ann. § 41-1-70 provides a statutory remedy, plaintiff’s wrongful termination claims fails as a matter of law.
Defendant’s motion to dismiss is granted in part.
As the mother of the minor victim of a crime, plaintiff also missed work for seemingly voluntary activities related to court proceedings, including meeting with victims’ advocates, therapists, and expert witnesses. Plaintiff does not direct the court to any source of a clear mandate of public policy regarding voluntary activities associated with the prosecution of a crime. Although the court recognizes that wrongful termination is not limited to situations where an employee was terminated for refusing to violate the law or where the termination itself was a violation of criminal law, plaintiff has failed to state a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy.