and Submitted May 10, 2016, Southridge High School,
County Circuit Court C108326CV; Gayle Ann Nachtigal, Senior
Spyker argued the cause for appellant. On the briefs was
Manuel C. Hernandez and Hernandez and Associates, LLC.
Christopher A. Gilmore argued the cause and fled the brief
Sercombe, Presiding Judge, and Tookey, Judge, and DeHoog,
wrongful discharge case, the trial court granted a directed
verdict to plaintiff's former employer, Washington
County, and plaintiff appeals.
trial court did not err in directing a verdict for the
county. Plaintiff failed to present evidence that the county
intentionally created or maintained objectively intolerable
work conditions that caused plaintiff to resign from the
county at that time.
wrongful discharge case, plaintiff appeals the trial
court's judgment in favor of plaintiff's former
employer, defendant Washington County. Plaintiff asserts
that the trial court erred when it granted a directed verdict
to the county based on its conclusion that plaintiff was not
fulfilling an important public duty, which is a required
element of a wrongful discharge claim, when she truthfully
complied with a federal auditor's request for information
about a federal program managed by the county. The county
defends the trial court's conclusion, and also proffers
an alternative reason for affirming, arguing that we should
affirm the court's grant of a directed verdict on the
basis that plaintiff failed to present evidence that she was
constructively discharged by the county because of her
compliance with the federal auditor's requests. We
conclude that we should affirm based on the alternative
reason advanced by defendant, and do not reach
plaintiff's arguments about a public duty.
this case is on appeal from a grant of directed verdict to
the county, we view the evidence in the light most favorable
to the nonmoving party-in this case, plaintiff-and give that
party the benefit of every reasonable inference that may be
drawn from the evidence. Fang v. Li. 203 Or.App.
481, 484, 125 P.3d 832 (2005). In taking that review, we do
not weigh conflicting evidence or evaluate credibility.
Id. at 185. A directed verdict is appropriate only
if the defendant was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Id. With that standard in mind, we recite the
relevant facts as follows.
December 1999, the county hired plaintiff as an occupancy
specialist and Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) coordinator for
its Department of Housing Services (HS). Prior to that time,
plaintiff had worked in other departments at the county for
several years. Plaintiff's direct supervisor was Adell
Potter, and the assistant director of HS was Henry Alvarez.
Plaintiff was the only FSS coordinator at HS, but she spent
only about 10 percent of her time on FSS matters, working on
issues as they came up. Plaintiff ...