Veterinarian sues local clinic for allegedly firing him because he sought another job

By Kyle Barnett | Jan 7, 2014

Eric R. Nowak

GRETNA – A local veterinary clinic is being sued by a former surgical veterinarian who claims he was fired before his employment contract was completed because he applied for another job.

Richard A. Rockar V.M.D. filed suit against Southeast Veterinary Specialist LLC in the 24th Judicial District Court on Dec. 15.

Rockar alleges that he entered into a two-year contract of employment with Southeast Veterinary Specialists on June 1, 2012 to be a veterinary surgeon at their Metairie facility. The plaintiff asserts that the defendant breached the contract by terminating him before the end of the contract. Rockar claims he performed all duties requested of him, but 11 momths before the termination of the contract he received an email from one of the owners of Southeast Veterinary Specialists asking him if he had applied for a position with LSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital and he responded he had he was fired two days later and not given a reason for the termination of his contract.

The plaintiff alleges that after he requested a written reason for the termination of his employment contract one of the clinic’s owners wrote that his termination was due to failing to provide a standard of care as a surgeon even though he had not received any written warnings during his employment. Rockar asserts he was terminated from employment at Southeast Veterinary Specialists for seeking alternative employment.

The defendant is accused of breaching Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act and breach of contract.

Damages are sought for $130,000 in salary, $2,000 for continuing education expenses, $1,000 for professional association dues and 401K fees, pay for 12 days of leave, damage to professional reputation, emotional distress and attorney’s fees.

Rockar is represented by Eric R. Nowak of New Orleans-based Harrell & Nowak LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division D Judge Scott U. Schlegel.

Case no. 733-899.

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