Jimmie Allison was a civilian employee of Boeing Laser Technical Services, a federal contractor located on Kirtland Air Force Base. Kirtland Air Force Base is a “federal enclave”: it is located on land that New Mexico ceded to the federal government in 1952 and 1954. Since that time the federal government has exercised exclusive jurisdiction within the boundaries of the Base.
Allison was terminated by Boeing on December 31, 2007. He filed suit in state court, alleging that Boeing discharged him in retaliation for reporting corporate fraud to the Air Force. His claims were all based on state law theories—wrongful discharge, breach of implied contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, retaliatory discharge, tort, and defamation.
Boeing removed the case to federal court and moved for summary judgment, asserting that these causes of action (except for defamation) are not available for conduct occurring on Kirtland Air Force Base under the “federal enclave” doctrine. The district court granted partial summary judgment in favor of Boeing on all of Allison’s employment claims on the ground that those causes of action were not recognized by New Mexico courts prior to 1954. The defamation claim was dismissed, the district court entered final judgment in favor of Boeing, and the Tenth Circuit later affirmed.