State Employee Prevails on Novel Question
A former state administrative law judge (ALJ) sued multiple defendants, including the State of Iowa, alleging wrongful termination in violation of public policy. The ALJ was protected by a collective bargaining agreement and Iowa’s whistleblower statute that arguably blocked her tort claim. The Iowa Supreme Court took up this matter of first impression, whether the tort of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy was categorically reserved for at-will employees, thus precluding the ALJ from stating a claim. The court ruled in favor of the employee and found her contract did not stand in the way of her tort claim.