Labor Code section 1102.5 and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”)
New CA case Ross v. County of Riverside holds that an employer violates Labor Code section 1102.5 when an employee who revealed information he believed disclosed a violation of federal and state law to his supervisor, is retaliated against by his employer. #EmploymentLaw #LaborCode #FEHA #Disabilit
Ross v. County of RiversideIn a recent California case, Ross v. County of Riverside, plaintiff, a former deputy district attorney, sued his former County employer for violations of Labor Code section 1102.5 and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), claiming whistleblower retaliation and disability discrimination. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the County, finding that plaintiff could not establish that he engaged in protected activity or that he had a disability recognized under FEHA. The Court of Appeal reversed and remanded.
Reversal and RemandPlaintiff disclosed exculpatory evidence to his supervisors at the District Attorney’s Office. In spite of the evidence, the District Attorney’s Office pursued malicious prosecution, and retaliated against plaintiff for reporting the supervisors actions. The Court of Appeal for the Fourth District found that the disclosure of information by plaintiff to his supervisors was a protected activity.
In addition, around the same time as the above mentioned incident, Plaintiff began exhibiting neurological symptoms due to a concussion syndrome that required him to undergo treatment and testing. After asking for a lighter caseload with “no stress or deadlines” as an accommodation, plaintiff’s supervisor declined his request. The County requested medical documentation that Plaintiff could not provide.
The Court of Appeal held there were triable issues of material fact as to both Plaintiff’s claim that his disclosure was a protected activity under Labor Section 1102.5 and whether he had a disability under FEHA. The court thereby reversed the judgment, remanding the case for further proceedings.