California Supreme Court Watch

Feb 10, 2021
Lawson v. PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc., S266001.

#21-49 Lawson v. PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc., S266001. (9th Cir No. 19-55802; 982 F.3d 752; Central District of California No. 8:18-cv-00705-AG-JPR.) Request under California Rules of Court, rule 8.548, that this court decide a question of California law presented in a matter pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The question presented is: Does the evidentiary standard set forth in Labor Code section 1102.6 replace the rest of test of McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green (1973) 411 U.S. 792 as the relevant evidentiary standard for retaliation claims brought pursuant to Labor Code section 1102.5?

Request for certification granted: 2/10/2021

Case published: 1/27/2022

See the Court of Appeal Opinion.

See the Order Certifying Question to the Supreme Court of California.

See the Oral Argument.

See the California Supreme Court Opinion.  (Lawson v. PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc. (2022) 12 Cal.5th 703.)

“Noting the lack of uniformity, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has asked us to decide which of these frameworks governs section 1102.5 retaliation claims. Unsurprisingly, we conclude courts should apply the framework prescribed by statute in Labor Code section 1102.6. Under the statute, employees need not satisfy the McDonnell Douglas test to make out a case of unlawful retaliation.”

Justice Kruger authored the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justices Corrigan, Liu, Groban, Jenkins, and Miller concurred.