Oklahoma governor, chief of staff named in wrongful termination lawsuit

Wendy Gregory, a former director of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin's office in Tulsa, filed a wrongful termination lawsuit Thursday in Oklahoma County. She claims Fallin and her chief of staff, Denise Northrup, broke state and federal law when they fired her in December over an IRS garnishment.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Published: February 1, 2013
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Federal law prohibits an employer from firing an employee whose earnings are subject to a single garnishment. Oklahoma statute says an employer cannot fire an employee for a garnishment or like proceeding “arising from a consumer credit sale, consumer lease, or consumer loan” unless it happens more than once within a year's time.

In her lawsuit, Gregory claims the IRS garnishment was her first and only such judgment.

She is seeking actual damages, lost wages and back pay, as well as payment for emotional distress, embarrassment and humiliation. She is also seeking actual and punitive damages against Fallin and Northrup for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In addition, she is seeking in excess of $20,000 in compensatory and punitive damages against Northrup in an individual tort claim.