Following Park v. Board of Trustees of California State University (2017) 2 Cal.5th 1057 and Nam v. Regents of University of California (2016) 1 Cal.App.5th 1176, this decision holds that a whistleblower suit under H&S Code 1278.5 could not be stricken under the Anti-SLAPP statute. Though the adverse employment action was taken through an official proceeding of the hospital’s peer review board, the official proceeding was not itself a crucial element of the whistleblower claim. Instead, that claim arose from the allegedly wrongful motive or purpose behind the adverse employment action. That wrongful purpose or motive was not protected activity, so the defendant could not satisfy the first prong of an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike. Discrimination and retaliation claims are poor candidates for Anti-SLAPP motions because those claims attack wrongful motives, not the official proceedings in which the wrongful motives bring about adverse employment actions.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3 (Ikola, J.); July 26, 2017; 2017 WL 3167351