High Court Upholds 7th Circuit Dismissal Of Employee's Grievances Over Firing

Jan 4, 2018

A former employee of an assisted living center in Lead won't get her day in court. Shirley Harvey sued Regional Health for slander and other grievances after she was fired for harsh treatment of a resident at Golden Ridge.

Harvey says fellow employees made false allegations against her to retaliate after she made negative reports about them.

She claims that Regional Health supervisors committed slander when they repeated these false allegations to others.

Jeffrey Hurd represented Regional Health at oral arguments in November. He told justices that that supervisors had a duty to report what they believed to be true.

"The whole issue here is when a healthcare network is faced with allegations by coworkers, that one of their employees, their fellow coworker, is harming a resident, can they discuss that and deal with it internally? Yes, and they did. Can they report it to the Department of Health? Yes, and they must. And can they notify the family members of these allegations? Yes," Hurd said.

Harvey also sued for wrongful termination, breach of contract, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

A Seventh Circuit judge granted summary judgment to Regional Health. The Supreme Court upholds that decision.