Berry v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 20648

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtNESS; LEWIS
Citation242 S.E.2d 551,270 S.C. 489
PartiesEarle R. BERRY, Respondent, v. GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER COMPANY, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 20648
Decision Date20 March 1978

Page 551

242 S.E.2d 551
270 S.C. 489
Earle R. BERRY, Respondent,
v.
GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER COMPANY, Appellant.
No. 20648.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
March 20, 1978.

Page 552

J. Steve Warren, of Thompson, Mann & Hutson, Greenville, for appellant.

Larry H. Cooke, Greenville, for respondent.

[270 S.C. 490] NESS, Justice.

This is an action by respondent Berry against his employer, appellant Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, to recover money allegedly due him under Goodyear's "release" pay policy. Goodyear appeals from an order granting Berry's motion for a directed verdict. We reverse.

Respondent was employed in appellant's Greenville store as a commercial salesman for nineteen years, and on January 5, 1976, he was given a leave of absence, with full compensation, because of health problems. Pursuant to Goodyear's sick leave policy, it requested a statement from Berry's doctor on March 1, 1976, relating to his physical condition and ability to return to work. Although Berry agreed to furnish such a statement to Goodyear, he never did.

Being unable to secure any medical information on Berry, appellant notified him by letter that Goodyear would consider him to have voluntarily resigned if he did not sign and return an enclosed form authorizing his doctor to release the medical information. Respondent never returned the medical release form or a doctor's statement. His employment was terminated on April 5, 1976.

Goodyear's "release" pay policy provides for lump sum payments to be made to permanent employees when the are laid off or released. Pursuant to the payment schedule, respondent is entitled to nineteen weeks of compensation if he qualifies within the terms of the policy.

Appellant Goodyear asserts that Berry resigned. Respondent, conversely, argues he did not resign, and that his exit [270 S.C. 491] was either a release, a discharge or a termination by Goodyear.

We decline to comment on the nature of Berry's exit from Goodyear. Classification is irrelevant in view of our determination that Berry was disloyal to his employer, for even if he was discharged, it was with good cause.

The record discloses Berry's breach of loyalty to Goodyear. Respondent testified that while on sick leave, he spent time at B & B Tire Company, a subsidiary but nonetheless a competitor of Goodyear. He admitted to being at B & B a dozen or more times a week, placing and taking orders. Berry's home phone was connected so that when it rang, the phone...

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18 practice notes
  • Las Luminarias of the New Mexico Council of the Blind v. Isengard, No. 3459
    • United States
    • New Mexico Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • November 7, 1978
    ...Inc. v. Computer Dynamics Corporation, 229 Md. 357, 183 A.2d 374 (Ct.App.1962); Accord, Berry v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, 242 S.E.2d 551 (S.C.1978); Town and Country House and Homes Service, Inc. v. Evans, 150 Conn. 314, 189 A.2d 390 (1963); Coker v. Wesco Materials Corporation, 36......
  • Dove Data Products, Inc. v. DeVeaux, Opinion No. 2008-UP-202 (S.C. App. 3/24/2008), Opinion No. 2008-UP-202.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 24, 2008
    ...to the employer's interest throughout the term of employment. An employee has a duty of fidelity to his employer." Berry v. Goodyear, 270 S.C. 489, 491, 242 S.E.2d 551, 552 (1978). Solicitation of an employer's customers is a breach of the duty of loyalty. Futch v. McAllister Towing of......
  • Anderson Cnty. v. Joey Preston & the S.C. Ret. Sys., Opinion No. 5490.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 31, 2017
    ...the term of employment. An employee has a duty of fidelity to his employer." (quoting Berry v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 270 S.C. 489, 491, 242 S.E.2d 551, 552 (1978) )).7 See, e.g., Act No. 248, 1991 S.C. Acts 1616–17 ("No public official, public member, or public employee ......
  • Food Lion v. Capital Cities, RADIO-TELEVISION
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • June 4, 1998
    ...employee shall remain faithful to the employer's interest throughout the term of employment." Berry v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., 242 S.E.2d 551, 552 (S.C. 1978). In North Carolina "the law implies a promise on the part of every employee to serve [her] employer faithfully."......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Las Luminarias of the New Mexico Council of the Blind v. Isengard, No. 3459
    • United States
    • New Mexico Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • November 7, 1978
    ...Inc. v. Computer Dynamics Corporation, 229 Md. 357, 183 A.2d 374 (Ct.App.1962); Accord, Berry v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, 242 S.E.2d 551 (S.C.1978); Town and Country House and Homes Service, Inc. v. Evans, 150 Conn. 314, 189 A.2d 390 (1963); Coker v. Wesco Materials Corporation, 36......
  • Dove Data Products, Inc. v. DeVeaux, Opinion No. 2008-UP-202 (S.C. App. 3/24/2008), Opinion No. 2008-UP-202.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 24, 2008
    ...to the employer's interest throughout the term of employment. An employee has a duty of fidelity to his employer." Berry v. Goodyear, 270 S.C. 489, 491, 242 S.E.2d 551, 552 (1978). Solicitation of an employer's customers is a breach of the duty of loyalty. Futch v. McAllister Towing of......
  • Anderson Cnty. v. Joey Preston & the S.C. Ret. Sys., Opinion No. 5490.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 31, 2017
    ...the term of employment. An employee has a duty of fidelity to his employer." (quoting Berry v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 270 S.C. 489, 491, 242 S.E.2d 551, 552 (1978) )).7 See, e.g., Act No. 248, 1991 S.C. Acts 1616–17 ("No public official, public member, or public employee ......
  • Food Lion v. Capital Cities, RADIO-TELEVISION
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • June 4, 1998
    ...employee shall remain faithful to the employer's interest throughout the term of employment." Berry v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., 242 S.E.2d 551, 552 (S.C. 1978). In North Carolina "the law implies a promise on the part of every employee to serve [her] employer faithfully."......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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