Health care worker entitled to a jury trial!
We salute the court’s decision in a recent case to allow a health care whistle blower allowing a whistle blower former employee of a health care facility to have a jury determine whether the provisions of Health and Safety Code Section 1278.5 were violated. Let’s hear it for jury trials for the employees of California!
The code in question provides that an employee who has been retaliated against shall be entitled to reimbursement,for lost wages and benefits and legal costs. Normally, cases like this also include common law causes of action for termination in violation of public policy, Labor Code 1102.5 and the like. This decision assures that the jury will also decide rights under this statute.
The court noted that the “gist” of this case remained legal and not equitable in nature.
Lessons learned: Always lead a variety of statutory and common law causes of action. For those alleging whistle blowing retaliation, we’ve yet to find the case where reliance on Labor Code 1102.5 is misplaced. Use it often as appropriate!