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Galouch v. Department of Prof'l & Fin. Regulation

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

April 30, 2015

PATRICIA GALOUCH
v.
DEPARTMENT OF PROFESSIONAL AND FINANCIAL REGULATION

Argued April 7, 2015.

Page 989

On the briefs: James A. Clifford, Esq., Clifford & Clifford, LLC, Kennebunk, for appellant Patricia Galouch.

Janet T. Mills, Attorney General, and Kelly L. Morrell, Asst. Atty. Gen., Office of the Attorney General, Augusta, for appellee Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.

Brett D. Baber, Esq., Lanham Blackwell & Baber, P.A., Bangor, and David G. Webbert, Esq., Johnson, Webbert, & Young, LLP, Augusta, for amicus curiae Maine Employment Lawyers Association.

James R. Erwin, Esq., Pierce Atwood LLP, Portland, for amicus curiae Maine State Chamber of Commerce.

At oral argument: James A. Clifford, Esq., for appellant Patricia Galouch.

Kelly L. Morrell, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.

Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HJELM, JJ.

OPINION

Page 990

MEAD, J.

[¶1] Patricia Galouch appeals from an entry of summary judgment by the Superior Court (Kennebec County, Murphy, J. ) in favor of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (Department) on her claim that the Department violated her rights under the Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA), 5 M.R.S. § 4572 (2014), and the Maine Whistleblowers' Protection Act (WPA), 26 M.R.S. § 833 (2014). Galouch contends that the court erred in concluding that she did not (1) engage in protected activity, (2) experience an adverse employment action, or (3) present sufficient evidence that the Department's reasons for her termination were pretext for discriminatory animus.[1] We affirm the judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] From May 6, 2006, to October 22, 2010, Patricia Galouch was employed as an Office Associate II and Legal Secretary at the Maine Bureau of Insurance (Bureau), an agency within the Department. In March 2009, the Department reached a settlement agreement with Galouch and the Maine State Employees Association (Union), which had filed several grievances on her behalf. Pursuant to that settlement, Galouch was given a position as a legal secretary at the Bureau. In addition, the Department removed all previous discipline from Galouch's personnel file and paid her attorney fees; in return, the Union withdrew all pending grievances, and Galouch withdrew all pending complaints she had filed with the Maine Labor ...


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