E-Alerts & Press Releases

Decision in Parks v. Alpharma, Inc.

July 19, 2011:  On March 7, 2011, the Public Justice Center, joined by the Maryland Employment Lawyers Association and the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, filed an amicus brief in Parks v. Alpharma, Inc., in the Maryland Court of Appeals seeking to enhance wrongful discharge protections for employees who “blow the whistle” on their employers’ improper conduct. The brief primarily argued that employees who are fired for reporting employer wrongdoing to a supervisor should be able to bring successful wrongful discharge claims. We explained that the rationale for protecting whistleblowers who report to outside authorities is the same for protecting internal whistleblowers and that internal whistleblowing is often preferable given that it can lead to a more efficient and cost-effective resolution to the problem. Although the Court of Appeals ruled against the plaintiff-employee on July 19, 2011, it affirmed the lower court’s decision on narrow grounds unrelated to the issues addressed in our amicus brief and not on the fact that the reporting in this case was internal. In her spirited concurrence, Judge Adkins wrote that the court should have expressly held that internal whistleblowing constitutes protected activity under the tort of wrongful discharge, echoing the arguments made in the PJC’s brief.

 


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