Burnham v. Karl & Gelb, P.C

In Burnham v. Karl & Gelb, P.C., 252 Conn. 153, 745 A.2d 178 (Conn. 2000), the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that an at-will employee was precluded from bringing a claim for wrongful termination against public policy when the employee was allegedly terminated after reporting unsafe working conditions in violation of federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) standards. The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that the claim was precluded because the federal OSH Act provided a remedy. The plaintiff in Burnham specifically argued that the remedy under the federal OSH Act was inadequate. The Connecticut Supreme Court agreed that the administrative remedy available was not equivalent to a common-law claim for wrongful termination but held that nothing requires the administrative remedy to be equivalent to a common law claim. The Connecticut Supreme Court reasoned that "the statutory remedial scheme [should] be adhered to since we can presume that the legislature would have provided additional relief in the statute if it thought it was necessary." 745 A.2d at 185.