1. Was Crater Lake Motors wrong to hire RPM?
2. Was Lamson wrong to refuse to work at the second RPM event?
3. Did Lamson have a duty to complain about the conduct he had observed during the first RPM event?
4. Was Crater Lake wrong to terminate Lamson?
5. Who won the wrongful termination lawsuit?
Kevin Lamson was a sales manager for an Oregon car dealership, Crater Lake Motors. Crater Lake hired Real Performance Marketing Company (RPM), to conduct a five-day sales promotion at the dealership. During the first few days of the sales event, Lamson observed or was informed of a number of activities that he considered to be unethical and possibly unlawful, such as misrepresenting the event as a bank sale, and including various insurance and service agreements in the sales contract without the knowledge of the customer. Lamson complained to the Crater Lake Motors General Manager, Shevlin, who told him to “just go home.” The next week, Lamson again expressed his concerns at a Crater Lake Motors meeting.
About a month later, Shevlin criticized Lamson’s attitude and recent performance, stating that Lamson “wasn’t getting the job done.” Shevlin also told Lamson of another planned RPM sales event, and asked if Lamson intended to quit. Lamson replied that he did not intend to quit but that it seemed like Shevlin did not want him to work at Crater Lake Motors anymore. Shevlin replied that he did not want the Lamson he had seen recently.
Lamson later complained to the Crater Lake Motors owner, Coleman, about RPM. Coleman told Lamson that working at the second RPM event was mandatory and that failure to attend could result in dismissal. Lamson told Coleman that he could not participate because doing so would condone unethical behavior. Coleman said the agreement with RPM had been amended to explicitly forbid misrepresentations. Lamson did not attend the second RPM event, and was fired. Lamson then sued Crater Lake Motors for wrongful discharge.