The opinion of the court was delivered by: GREEN
These actions were brought against defendants Louis Zimmer and Louis Zimmer Communications, Inc. by a former employee and the Secretary of Labor on behalf of the discharged employee.
In a private action, Civil Action No. 84-2746, the former employee alleges wrongful discharge based on the Pennsylvania public policy tort exception to the employment-at-will doctrine in that her termination was in retaliation for lodging a complaint with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration regarding work and health conditions. She also alleges breach of implied covenants of employment security and good faith and fair dealing. This court has jurisdiction over this matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
These related cases were consolidated for purposes of trial and tried to the court non-jury. Having considered the evidence, the demeanor of the witnesses and the briefs and arguments of counsel, this memorandum sets forth my findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Maureen Kennard is an adult individual who is a citizen of New Jersey and who resides at 5268 Magnolia Avenue, Pennsauken, New Jersey. Defendant Louis Zimmer Communications, Inc. is a Pennsylvania corporation organized and existing under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The defendant corporation is engaged in the advertising business and, as part of its business, prepares photographic and other art materials utilizing various chemicals in and about its offices and work environment. Defendant Louis Zimmer is the President of the corporation and its sole stockholder.
Maureen Kennard began employment with defendant Louis Zimmer on August 31, 1977 as a receptionist at an annual salary of $8,000 per annum. Prior to 1982, Louis Zimmer was self-employed. In 1982, Louis Zimmer incorporated.
In 1983, the advertising agency had four full-time employees, including defendant Zimmer and Maureen Kennard, as well as one or two part-time free lance artists and a part-time receptionist. Each employee received an annual evaluation at the end of each August.
At the time of her termination on August 9, 1983, Maureen Kennard was earning a base salary of $20,000 per annum and was employed as a production assistant or coordinator. Her duties included coordination of art department work together with performing assignments involving the use of chemicals and related materials. During the course of her employment with defendants, Maureen Kennard experienced a variety of medical problems including continuous colds, coughing and respiratory difficulty which required medical attention.
On or about June 23, 1983, Tim Kennard, Maureen Kennard's husband, telephoned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") and complained regarding the lack of ventilation at the business premises of the defendants.
OSHA prepared a formal complaint and sent it to the Kennard residence but Maureen Kennard elected not to file ...