Cardenas v. M. Fanaian, D.D.S., Inc., 240 Cal. App. 4th 1167 (2015)

Rosa Lee Cardenas was terminated from her employment as a dental hygienist after she made a report to the police department that a coworker may have stolen her wedding ring at her workplace. Cardenas sued her employer (Dr. Fanaian) on the grounds that she was retaliated against in violation of Labor Code § 1102.5 (forbidding an employer from retaliating against an employee who has reported a violation of the law to a law enforcement agency) and was wrongfully terminated in violation of public policy. The jury found in favor of Cardenas and awarded her approximately $118,000 in damages. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in favor of Cardenas on the ground that a Section 1102.5 claim does not require proof of a violation of a fundamental public policy and need not involve violations of law arising out of the employer’s business activities. See also Nosal-Tabor v. Sharp Chula Vista Med. Ctr., 239 Cal. App. 4th 1224 (2015) (nurse could proceed with whistleblower case arising from termination after she complained about and refused to perform nurse-led testing that may have violated the law).