Hospital Employee From Roseville Claims Workplace Discrimination, Part 7 of 8

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the proceedings.)

Exposing governmental inefficiency and misconduct is a matter of considerable significance. As the Court noted in Connick, public employers should, as a matter of good judgment, be receptive to constructive criticism offered by their employees. 461 U.S., at 149, 103 S.Ct. 1684. The dictates of sound judgment are reinforced by the powerful network of legislative enactments-such as whistle-blower protection laws and labor codes-available to those who seek to expose wrongdoing. See, e.g., 5 U.S.C. § 2302(b)(8); Cal. Govt.Code Ann. § 8547.8 (West 2005); Cal. Lab.Code Ann. § 1102.5 (West Supp.2006) … These imperatives, as well as obligations arising from any other applicable constitutional provisions and mandates of the criminal and civil laws, protect employees and provide checks on supervisors who would order unlawful or otherwise inappropriate actions.

Further, Defendant’s argument that Plaintiff has no legal protection for reporting illegal practices because such reporting was an essential part of her job duties turns logic and law upside down. If Defendant’s position were accepted, it would mean that the very employee charged with reporting illegal activity would have no incentive to make a report because the employee would not be protected from retaliation for reporting the illegal conduct. Fortunately, and not surprisingly, California law does not abandon those employees most in need of legal protection, i.e., those who by virtue of their position must report illegal activity. See e.g. Green v. Ralee Eng. Co. (1998) 19 Cal.4th 66, 79 (public policy termination claim properly stated by quality control inspector who complained about unsafe conditions on airplane despite that the quality control inspector, like Plaintiff here, was simply doing his job);

Flait v. North American Watch Corp. (1992) 3 Cal.App.4th 467, 477 (supervisor who objects to and tries to stop sexual harassment of another employee entitled to protection from retaliation despite that supervisor had an obligation to make the report as part of basic supervisorial duties). (See Part 8 of 8.)

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