This Article analyzes the federal question jurisdiction issue in the context of state law claims for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy articulated in federal law. Part II of this Article contains a general discussion of the public policy exception to the employment at will rule. Part III discusses removal and federal question jurisdiction. Part IV analyzes cases relevant to the issue of federal question removal jurisdiction in the wrongful discharge context, including the United States Supreme Court's decisions in Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals v. Thompson and Christianson v. Colt Industries Operating Corp. This Article concludes that a wrongful discharge claim based solely upon public policy expressed in a federal statute for which there is a private federal statutory remedy should be removable, particularly where the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over the direct statutory cause of action. However, the removal of wrongful discharge claims based on other federal sources of public policy, such as federal statutes for which there is no private statutory remedy, is precluded by Merrell Dow and Christianson.
Michael D. Moberly, Begging the Federal Question: Removal Jurisdiction in Wrongful Discharge Cases, 20 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 81 (1996).