Wrongful discharge occurs under Kentucky law where (1) the discharge is contrary to a fundamental and well-defined public policy, and (2) the policy is evidenced by constitutional or statutory provision. Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. v. Meadows, 666 S.W.2d 730 (Ky. 1983). That has been wall in Kentucky for over 25 years; nonetheless, the Kentucky Court of Appeals was recently required to address what allegations were sufficient to properly plead (not prove but simply plead) a claim of wrongful discharge in Mitchell v. Coldstream Laboratories, No. 2009-CA-1885 (September 24, 2010).
Mitchell, a former Vice President for Quality and Regulatory Compliance for the defendant, Coldstream Laboratories, pleaded in his claim that "his discharge violated a well-defined public policy requiring 'honest and full compliance with the FDA investigators' and that his discharge came as a result of his refusal to violate law – albeit unspecified by name or number." This was sufficient the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled in reversing a dismissal of the case ordered by Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine.
The panel of judges for the Kentucky Court of Appeals was as follows: Hon. Sara Combs (who wrote the opinion), Hon. Michael Caperton and Hon. Joseph Lambert, former Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court and sitting as a Special Judge.