Wilson v. Long John Silver's, Inc

In Wilson v. Long John Silver's, Inc., 188 W. Va. 254, 423 S.E.2d 863 (1992), a discharged employee claimed that the company's policies and procedures manual constituted a unilateral contract entitling him to progressive discipline rather than immediate termination. Id. at 255, 423 S.E.2d at 864. The employer appealed the denial of its motions for summary judgment, directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict. Id., 423 S.E.2d at 864. The Court said: "Our review of the manual reveals that it did not include any statement proclaiming that the manual was not a contract of employment. However, as Long John Silver's points out, the statements of "Circumstances Warranting Discharge" and "Progressive Discipline" situations did not constitute complete lists since the sections stated "such infractions include, but are not limited to: . . . " and "such circumstances include, but are not limited to: . . .," respectively. We cannot find any clear and convincing evidence that the manual contained a promise, let alone a definite promise, sufficient to modify the employment at will relationship." (Wilson, 188 W. Va. at 257, 423 S.E.2d at 866.)