Faulkner v. United Technologies Corp

In Faulkner v. United Technologies Corp., 240 Conn. 576, 693 A.2d 293 (1997) the Court considered the issue of wrongful termination, specifically, whether a federal statute could provide the source for a public policy violation. In Faulkner, the plaintiff employee sought to recover for the allegedly wrongful termination of his employment claiming that his refusal to participate in a scheme to defraud the federal government by using defective parts in the production of helicopters prompted his termination. The plaintiff relied on a federal statute for his claim of a public policy violation. Specifically, the plaintiff in Faulkner alleged that his discharge violated the public policy against government contract fraud as embodied in the federal Major Frauds Act. 18 U.S.C. 1031. The Court sanctioned a cause of action for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy where that public policy derived from federal law rather than state law. The court held, therefore, that "claims brought pursuant to the public policy limitation on the at-will employment doctrine can be predicated on the violation of a public policy expressed in a federal statute." Id., 585-86.