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Sheets v. Teddy’s Frosted Foods

Connecticut Supreme Court
427 A.2d 385 (1980)


Facts

Between 1973 and 1977, Emard H. Sheets (plaintiff) was employed by Teddy's Frosted Foods, Inc. (TFFI) (defendant) as quality control director and then as operations manager. In the course of performing the work required by these positions, he observed that lower quality produce and underweight meat were being used in TFFI's products. The use of these lower quality items in TFFI's finished products was inconsistent with TFFI's product packaging and in violation of the Connecticut Uniform Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Sheets brought this to the attention of TFFI and made recommendations for correcting the problem. No action was taken in regard to his suggestions and a few months later his employment was terminated. Despite having received raises and bonuses during his employment, TFFI claimed Sheets' termination was due to unsatisfactory performance. Sheets brought an action for wrongful discharge on three grounds: breach of an implied contract of employment, violation of public policy and malicious discharge. The trial court dismissed the complaint and Sheets appealed.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Peters, J.)

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Dissent (Cotter, C.J.)

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