were relying upon federal officials whose vigor in enforcing OSHA waxes and wanes depending upon the prevailing political winds blowing toward Washington.
Pennsylvania courts have never eliminated a common law cause of action simply because the federal government has enacted legislation promoting policies similar to those furthered by the common law. Combinations in restraint of trade violate Pennsylvania's common law. Yet Congress' decision to promote many of the policies furthered by Pennsylvania's common law concerning combinations in restraint of trade, has not resulted in the common law action being abolished in favor of the federal statutory remedy. Facts which give rise to a federal statutory antitrust action can also support a Pennsylvania common law cause of action. See, e.g., Beck v. Athens Bldg. Loan and Sav. Ass'n, 65 F.R.D. 691, 695 (M.D. Pa. 1974).
Promoting the policies which underlie the common law of Pennsylvania is of paramount importance to Pennsylvania courts. They are not about to abdicate that responsibility just because Congress has enacted legislation to further similar policies. If an important public policy merits incorporation into Pennsylvania's common law, then the fact that the federal government has enacted legislation promoting similar policies will not be considered a sufficient justification to stifle the development of Pennsylvania's common law.
V. Emotional distress
Finally, defendant claims that even if plaintiff was wrongfully discharged, there was insufficient evidence to send to the jury the question of emotional distress arising out of the wrongful termination.
In Yaindl the court held that the factors which should be weighed when evaluating a claim for wrongful termination were identical to the factors considered relevant to a claim of intentional interference with the performance of a contract. "The most useful way to view an action for wrongful discharge is as a particularized instance of [the] more inclusive tort of intentional interference with the performance of a contract." 281 Pa. Super. at 574-75, 422 A.2d at 618. This approach to wrongful termination suits was endorsed by the Third Circuit in Novosel. 721 F.2d at 901.
In determining the appropriate measure of damages in a wrongful termination context, it is therefore appropriate to look at the type of damages recoverable for the intentional interference with the performance of a contract. Since for both torts similar factors are used to evaluate whether similar wrongs were committed, there is no reason why the victims of both torts should not be permitted to recover the same types of damages.
In Pennsylvania one who is liable to another for interference with a contract is liable for damages for the emotional distress which is reasonably expected to result from the wrongful interference. Tose v. First Pennsylvania Bank, N.A., 648 F.2d 879, 898 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 893, 70 L. Ed. 2d 208, 102 S. Ct. 390 (1981). The victim of a wrongful termination, therefore, also should be entitled to recover damages for emotional distress reasonably expected to result from the wrongful discharge.
Defendant has not objected to this approach toward damages. Instead, the defendant argues that there was insufficient evidence to allow the issue of emotional distress to go to the jury.
Defendant's evidentiary argument is meritless. Both plaintiff and her physician testified extensively concerning plaintiff's deteriorating emotional condition and its causal relationship to her termination. Considering plaintiff's precarious position as a single parent without any source of income other than her job, the jury could have found that her emotional distress about being fired was reasonably expected to result from her wrongful termination. There was sufficient evidence for this question to go to the jury and their verdict was reasonable in light of the evidence presented to them.
An appropriate order follows.
AND NOW, this 8th day of April, 1986, it is hereby ORDERED that defendant's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict is DENIED.