Discharge of An Employee In Violation of Public Policy
Does the Right of Employers to Terminate Employment at Will for Any Cause Include Discharge of An Employee In Violation of Public Policy ?
In Greeley v. Miami Valley Maint. Contrs., Inc., (1990), 49 Ohio St.3d 228, 551 N.E.2d 981, the Ohio Supreme Court acknowledged an exception to the employment-at-will doctrine and created a cause of action in tort for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.
Specifically, the Court held that "the right of employers to terminate employment at will for 'any cause' no longer includes the discharge of an employee where the discharge is in violation of a statute and thereby contravenes public policy."
Additionally, in Greeley, the Ohio Supreme Court recognized that the public policy exception to the employment-at-will doctrine need not be premised solely upon a violation of a specific statute, providing that:
"Today, we only decide the question of a public policy exception to the employment-at-will doctrine based on violation of a specific statute. This is not to say that there may not be other public policy exceptions to the doctrine but, of course, such exceptions would be required to be of equally serious import as the violation of a statute. ". Id. at 234-235.