Court of Appeal of California
171 Cal.Rptr. 917 (Cal. Ct. App. 1981)
Wayne Pugh (plaintiff) began working for See’s Candies, Inc. (See’s) (defendant) in January 1941. Pugh began working as a dishwasher and received several promotions until 1971, when he became the vice president in charge of production. In 1972, Pugh received a gold watch from See’s in recognition of his 31 years of service. In 1972, Pugh oversaw the most successful Christmas season in See’s history. In 1973, See’s set a sales record over the Valentine’s Day holiday. In June 1973, See’s terminated Pugh’s employment without explanation. Until then, Pugh had received no formal criticism regarding his work. When Pugh first started working for See’s, the then-president of See’s had repeatedly said that if Pugh was loyal to See’s and worked hard, Pugh’s future at See’s would be secure. Two subsequent See’s presidents had a known practice of not terminating administrative personnel without good cause. Pugh sued See’s for breach of contract, alleging that See’s had wrongfully terminated Pugh’s employment upon the urging of a labor union (defendant) with which Pugh had friction. The union was joined in the case as a defendant for its alleged involvement in the conduct. The defendants moved for nonsuit. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion. Pugh appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Grodin, J.)
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