Superior Court vacates wrongful termination order favoring former Myers Coach employee

By Carrie Salls | Oct 18, 2018

HARRISBURG – The Superior Court of Pennsylvania threw out a $2,400 ruling entered in favor of a former employee of Myers Coach Lines Inc. and A.J. Myers & Sons Inc. in a wrongful discharge case, according to an opinion entered Oct. 10.

The Superior Court said the Myers entities appealed the Nov. 17, 2017 judgment made by the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas in favor of former employee Kimberly Greco.

In her lawsuit against the companies, Greco alleged that she was fired in May 2012 because she had contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for guidance as part of her duties of “dealing with safety issues for school bus drivers” when a Myers bus driver who had a pacemaker installed wanted to go back to work.

Greco claimed that PennDOT originally told her on April 27, 2012 that the bus driver in question would need to wait two months from the insertion of the pacemaker before he could go back to driving the bus, even though he had provided a note from his cardiologist indicating that he was able to work as of April 26, 2012.

Judge Paula Francisco Ott   PA Courts

According to the Superior Court opinion, a transcript from the lower court proceedings said, “David Myers challenged (Greco), asking what gave her the right to call PennDOT on this issue, apparently disregarding the fact that part of her job was to ensure safety by making sure that drivers were legally permitted to drive. Although Myers ultimately agreed to keep (bus driver Berardinelli) off the road, he threateningly reminded Kim that her predecessor had been fired for ‘sticking her nose in where it doesn’t belong,’” the transcript said.

The transcript said Kimberly Greco’s husband, Al Greco, who also worked for Myers, took his concerns over the treatment of his wife to company officials. Al Greco was fired the day after he complained. The following week, Kimberly Greco was terminated and learned that another employee had been offered her job.

In its appeal, the company said “the trial court erred and/or abused its discretion in denying its post-trial motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict because (1) Greco failed to establish a prima facie claim under the Whistleblower Law since, (a) there was no report of actual wrongdoing and (b) Greco was terminated for separate and legitimate reasons,” the Superior Court ruling said.

Superior Court Judge Paula Francisco Ott said in the opinion that Greco failed to prove that she was wrongfully fired.

“Although we sympathize with Greco’s contention that she was fired for simply doing her job, we reiterate an employer may fire an at-will employee for any reason or no reason,” the ruling said. “We find Greco is entitled to no relief with regard to her cause of action for common law wrongful negligence.”

Ott ordered that the case be sent back to the lower court so a judgment can be entered in Myers’ favor.

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