Medina v. Jeff Dumas Concrete Construction LLC, 2020 UT App 166 (Dec. 17, 2020)
The plaintiff asserted that his former employer wrongfully terminated him in violation of public policy for asserting a worker’s compensation claim. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer. As a matter of first impression, the court of appeals addressed the standard for the substantial factor prong under the wrongful termination burden-shifting framework and held that an employer’s direction to leave the job site if injured, evidence that the employer believed that the employee fabricated his injuries, and the fact the termination occurred during the employee’s deposition in the worker’s compensation case were sufficient circumstantial evidence to survive summary judgment under the substantial-factor test. The court of appeals also rejected the employer’s argument that a temporal disconnect severed the causal connection.