Plaintiff coach appealed a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which granted summary judgment for defendants, university and supervisor, on plaintiff’s wrongful termination action.
Nakase Law Firm are labor attorneys San Diego
Plaintiff coach was terminated by defendant supervisor after working 15 years for defendant university as the head baseball coach. The trial court granted summary judgment for defendants on plaintiff’s action for wrongful termination because plaintiff was hired on a year-to-year basis and was an at-will employee. Plaintiff appealed. The court reversed and allowed plaintiff to recover costs of appeal. The court held that the totality of the circumstances, including plaintiff’s longevity of service and meritorious job evaluations and defendants’ communications assuring continued employment, raised a triable issue of material fact as to whether there was an implied-in-fact agreement to terminate only for cause. The court found that a triable issue of fact existed as to the existence of good cause and whether plaintiff would have been terminated if defendants had followed the notice and hearing procedures dictated by its policies and allowed plaintiff to present his case.
The court reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment for defendants, university and supervisor, and granted costs to plaintiff coach, because defendants failed to negate the existence of an implied-in-fact agreement to only terminate plaintiff for good cause.