McVeigh v. Recology San Francisco, 213 Cal. App. 4th 443 (2013)

Brian McVeigh, a former Operations Supervisor for Recology, alleged Recology fired him in retaliation for his reporting possible fraud in connection with California Redemption Value payments made by and to Recology for recycled materials. McVeigh asserted claims under the California False Claims Act and Labor Code § 1102.5. The trial court granted summary judgment to Recology, but the Court of Appeal reversed the summary judgment on three of McVeigh’s claims and affirmed dismissal of two other claims. The Court affirmed summary adjudication as to one of McVeigh’s claims associated with “weight tag inflation” because the false claim did not result in a loss to the state (only to the employer). However, the Court reversed summary adjudication as to McVeigh’s claim that Recology presented false claims to the state; the Court also found evidence of a causal link between McVeigh’s termination and his whistleblowing activities. The Court reversed summary adjudication of McVeigh’s claim under Labor Code § 1102.5 because the statute protects employee reports of unlawful activity by third parties such as contractors and employees and not just reports of the unlawful activity of an employer.