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July 24, 2023

California Supreme Court: Whistleblower Statute Protects Employees Who Disclose Allegedly Unlawful Conduct Even When it is Already Known to the Employer

Laborsphere Blog

Recently, the California Supreme Court ruled in The People ex rel. Lilia Garcia-Brower v. Kolla’s Inc. that California’s whistleblower protection statute (Labor Code § 1102.5) protects employees who disclose unlawful conduct, even when the recipient of the disclosure is already aware of the conduct.  This ruling expands the definition of “disclose” such that the law now covers a wider array of employee retaliation claims against employers.


Section 1102.5(b) states that employers may not retaliate against an employee for disclosing information (or because the employer believes that the employee has disclosed or will disclose information) about conduct which the employee reasonably believes is unlawful.

In Kolla’s, the complainant alleged that she complained to the owner of Kolla’s (her employer) that she had not been paid wages she was owed.  Kolla’s responded by terminating the complainant and threatening to report her to immigration services.  The complainant filed a complaint with the office of the California Labor Commissioner, which investigated and sued Kolla’s, including for violations of Labor Code §1102.5(b).

Read the Full Article on the Laborsphere Blog

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