Monday, September 25, 2023
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Victory for Employee Who Tracked Her Co-Workers

BOISE (CN) - The Idaho Supreme Court allowed a fire department employee to proceed with a wrongful termination claim after she was allegedly canned for taking notes on her inefficient co-workers.

Mary Curlee was fired by Kooentai Fire and Rescue after writing a minute-by-minute account of the activities of a pair of female colleagues, whom she nicknamed "Muffy" and "Buffy."

Curlee claimed that her bosses authorized her to keep track of wasteful activity, but the women grew angry when they discovered Curlee's log and her derogatory nicknames for them.

Curlee refused to apologize and said she would never be able to have a good working relationship with the women. She was fired, and later lost her wrongful termination lawsuit in trial court.

Justice Horton ruled that the summary judgment in favor of the fire department was incorrect.

"The role of the trial court at the summary judgment stage is limited to discerning if there are any issues of material fact to be tried," Horton wrote. "It does not extend to deciding them.

"Curlee only had the burden of presenting evidence from which a rational inference of retaliatory discharge under the whistleblower act could be drawn."

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