A doctor in the UC San Diego school of ophthalmology sued the Regents for sex discrimination, violation of the California Whistleblower Protection Act (Gov. Code 8547) and various other wrongs, claiming that she had been demoted and otherwise subjected to adverse employment actions after she complained that the head of the school was favoring his wife, who was first a resident and later a professor in the school. Discrimination in favor of a paramour or wife doesn’t violate the FEHA, so plaintiff’s complaints about favoritism were not protected by the FEHA’s anti-retaliation provisions. However, plaintiff did state a viable claim under the Whistleblower Protection Act since favoritism for a close relative violated the University’s personnel policies which had the force of law and were designed, in this respect, to protect the public interest.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1 (Dato, J.); September 26, 2017 (partial publication); 2017 WL 4250143