Jeffery v. City of NashuaAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff Susan Jeffery appealed a superior court order that granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant City of Nashua on her wrongful discharge and breach of contract claims. Plaintiff worked for the City since 1977 in the payroll department. She became the City's risk manager in 1998. n 2004, Plaintiff became concerned that her direct supervisor, Maureen Lemieux, did not understand the budgetary process because "she wanted to level fund the health line items" in the City’s 2005 fiscal year budget. Plaintiff raised her concerns with Lemieux "dozens of times," but Lemieux responded that "she was comfortable with her numbers." In April 2005, the City discovered that the health insurance line item was underfunded. Consequently, the Board of Aldermen convened an ad hoc health care budget committee to investigate the circumstances leading up to the shortfall. Plaintiff alleged that between her two interviews with the committee, she was summoned to a meeting with the mayor, at which he asked her whether she, as department manager, should be held responsible for the budget shortfall. Plaintiff refused to accept responsibility, explaining that she had tried to prevent the error by raising her concerns with Lemieux and
others. Further, Plaintiff alleged that on a separate occasion, the mayor suggested that they "all share the blame," but she refused his suggestion. Subsequently, Plaintiff started receiving poor performance evaluations and later received disciplinary actions. She would later be demoted. Shortly after her demotion, Plaintiff took a leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act; while still on leave, Plaintiff resigned her position, stating she wished to retire early. Three years after her resignation, Plaintiff sued the City alleging constructive discharge and breach of contract. Finding that Plaintiff's suit fell outside the statute of limitations, and that Plaintiff had no enforceable employment contract with the City, the Supreme Court affirmed summary judgment granted in favor of the City.