Executive Summary: The California Supreme Court recently held that California Health and Safety Code section 1278.5(g), which protects health care workers and medical staff from discrimination and retaliation for reporting unsafe patient care and conditions, does not provide a right to a jury trial. While claims brought directly under Section 1278.5(g) do not entitle the parties to a jury trial on that claim, this does not foreclose a jury trial on a related claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy.
Articles Discussing California's Employee Whistleblower Protections.
An employer is prohibited from retaliating against an employee who makes a complaint to a government or law enforcement agency under California law.
A California appellate court recently confirmed in Satyadi v. West Contra Costa Healthcare District that employees need not exhaust administrative remedies before pursuing most state Labor Code claims, even those accruing prior to the enactment of Labor Code § 244(a), which expressly states there is no administrative exhaustion requirement. The decision brings clarity to an area of law noted for its split of authority.
The California Labor Code’s Section 1102.5(b) whistleblower protections are not limited to the first employee reporting alleged misconduct, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, affirming a judgment in favor of a deputy sheriff on his whistleblower retaliation claim. Hager v. County of Los Angeles, No. B238277 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 19, 2014).
California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill No. 2751 (AB 2751) to amend a recently-enacted law that prohibits employers from retaliating against undocumented workers who engage in protected activity.