Stone v. M&M Welding & Construction, Inc., 2013 UT App 233 (September 26, 2013)
Sep 26, 2013
In this wrongful discharge case, an employee sued his employer for “pretaliatory” discharge, claiming that his employer fired him after he stated his intention to file a workers’ compensation claim, but before he actually filed the claim. Stone, 2013 UT App 233, ¶ 1. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer dismissing the claim, finding that the employee’s termination could not have been in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim because he was fired eight months before he filed the claim. Id. ¶ 5. The Utah Court of Appeals reversed, finding that an employee did not have to have actually filed a workers’ compensation claim to be protected from retaliatory termination. Id. ¶ ¶ 11 – 12. The court explained that to find otherwise would “create a perverse incentive for an employer to discharge an injured employee as soon as the employer learns of the employee’s intention to file a claim.” Id. ¶ 11.