According to the Tri-City Herald (8/6/13), Joetta Rupert had been earning about $80,000 per year as the manager of the KID realty division. Prior to her termination in July 2010, the KID board took issue with Rupert’s use of sick leave to attend trial proceedings related to injuries she previously sustained in an automotive accident.
The plaintiff, in her Washington Employment lawsuit, claimed that her wrongful termination was due in part to her allegations of misuse of funds after a former member of the KID board of directors had attempted to purchase land on Red Mountain by utilizing an endowment fund earmarked for an initiative identified in the report as the Red Mountain project.
Rupert also claimed discrimination as a woman and a hostile work environment - and the fact she complained about that work environment - as another basis for her firing. Immediately prior to filing her lawsuit, Rupert is described as having filed a $1 million wrongful termination claim against her former employer for gender discrimination.
The plaintiff was initially placed on administrative leave before her ouster, according to the report.
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However, according to the report, Benton County Superior Court Judge Vic VanderSchoor granted the district’s request for a summary judgment without orally stating reasons for his decision. The ruling was in favor of all claims made by the District save for a claim for unpaid wages, a claim which was subsequently nullified following the ruling.
Once VanderSchoor delivers his written ruling, the plaintiff has 30 days to appeal. Rupert’s Washington Labor Law attorney is recommending that his client follow through with an appeal, stating that in his view the judge erred in dismissing Rupert’s case without any explanation of his reasoning.