Doe v. Google, Inc., 54 Cal. App. 5th 948 (2020)

Google requires its employees to comply with various confidentiality policies, including policies that allegedly prevent employees from using or disclosing the “skills, knowledge, and experience” they obtained at Google for purposes of competing with Google; policies that prevent employees from disclosing violations of state and federal law either within Google or outside Google to private attorneys or government officials; and policies that prevent employees from engaging in lawful conduct during non-work hours and that violate state statutes entitling employees to disclose wages, working conditions, and illegal conduct. Google filed a demurrer in response to the complaint in which plaintiffs asserted a violation of the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) on the ground that the National Labor Relations Act (the “NLRA”) preempted the employees’ confidentiality claims. The trial court sustained the demurrer, but the Court of Appeal reversed, holding that the claims “fall within the local interest exception to Garmon preemption and may therefore go forward.”