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New Cases of Interest - November 25, 2013
Kornejo v. Lightbourne (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 932. In this case, a state employee brought a retaliation claim under the California Whistleblower Protection Act, but did not file a claim under the California Government Claims Act before bringing the lawsuit. The employee had also failed to pursue pending administrative proceedings after a set of initial findings had been issued. The trial court sustained a demurrer by the public employer to the employee’s complaint.
The trial court was reversed by the Court of Appeal with the Court of Appeal holding that a state or public agency employee is not required to file a government claim when pursuing a claim under California Whistleblower Protection Act, because that Act itself has its own administrative procedure which satisfies the purpose of the presentation procedure contained in the Government Claims Act. The Whistleblower Protection Act did not require a separate government claim to be filed in order to pursue a claim under the Whistleblower Protection Act.