WA Legal Roundup - Washington State Supreme Court
If there's one thing that chaps my hide, its opening up an opinion and seeing the words "Lead Opinion". Why? Because it means that there is a majority only as to the holding, but there is no majority as to the reasoning. Three justices supported the reasoning of the lead opinion and the holding, two justices each wrote their own concurrence, and 4 justices voted for and agreed with the reasoning on the dissent. So now I have to go through and parse the logic of the lead opinion and the two concurrences to see what matches up. You'd better appreciate what I do for you. You never take me out anymore. When was the last time we went on a real date? That's it, I'm going to stay with my mother for a few days.
Here's the run down. Board appoints an Executive Director. Employees hate Executive Director. Board affirms their support of Executive Director. Six employees quit, two are fired. Employees attempt to say their activities were concerted to improve work conditions, an activity protected under Ch. 49.32 RCW, termination in violation of public policy.
Held: Not protected.
The lead opinion and the dissent argue in terms of both the firing for concerted activity AND the tort of wrongful discharge. One is statutory, the other is common law. The concurrence by Justice Charles Johnson agrees with the reasoning that this is a concerted activity case. The concurrence by Justice Barbara Madsen conflates the two as well, but argues that the policy violated was never identified. So where does this leave us? With a result and no reasoning, essentially.
Really...we're on thin ice here. You'd better at least bring me flowers.