Gupta v. Trustees of the Cal. State Univ., 40 Cal. App. 5th 510 (2019)

Rashmi Gupta was denied a promotion to associate professor and lifetime tenure at San Francisco State University and was terminated after she and several other women of color in the University’s School of Social Work complained about alleged “abuse of power and authority, excessive micromanagement, bullying, and the creation of a hostile environment.” Gupta sued the University for discrimination and retaliation, and the jury awarded her $378,421 on the retaliation claim but found no liability on the discrimination claim. The trial court awarded Gupta an additional $587,161 in attorney’s fees and costs, but denied her request for immediate reinstatement based upon there being no available position for her at the University. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment, holding that Gupta was not required to show she was “clearly superior” to a “comparator professor” who was granted tenure (but who had not complained). See also Godecke ex rel. United States v. Kinetic Concepts, 937 F.3d 1201 (9th Cir. 2019) (billing company employee sufficiently alleged a fraudulent scheme to submit false claims to Medicare in violation of the federal False Claims Act).