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Donahue v. Federal Express Corp.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania
753 A.2d 238 (2000)



Donahue (plaintiff) was an at-will employee of Federal Express Corp. (FedEx) (defendant). In his position, Donahue began questioning invoices that did not comport with repair orders, as well as other improprieties in his department. After Donahue complained to his immediate supervisor, Donahue was accused of “gross misconduct,” which included claims that Donahue made racial and derogatory remarks about other employees. Donahue was eventually terminated. In the months leading to his termination, Donahue was denied requested clerical assistance, given additional duties, and he claims he was ordered to falsify data to meet administrative requirements. After his termination, Donahue followed FedEx’s Guaranteed Fair Treatment Procedure (GFTP) and appealed his termination internally. The GFTP provides an extensive evaluation and review process, but specifically disclaims that it creates any contractual rights with its employees. Donahue’s termination was upheld. Donahue internally appealed the decision in accordance with the GFTP. His termination was upheld again. Donahue internally appealed a third time and again his termination was upheld. Donahue filed suit. FedEx filed a demurrer. The trial court granted the demurrer. Donahue appealed to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Lally-Green, J.)

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