Skidgel v. CUIAB, 2021 WL 3671434 (Cal. S. Ct. 2021)

The United States Secretary of Labor filed an action against Valley Wide Plastering Construction and various individuals, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  During discovery, the employer sought the identities of all informant employees who had provided information to the Secretary.  In response, the Secretary filed a motion for protective order, invoking the government’s informant privilege and requesting the district court prohibit the employer from soliciting information tending to reveal any informant identities.  Although the district court granted the motion, it also ordered the Secretary to reveal the identities of informants who would be testifying at trial by a date certain.  The Secretary filed a petition for writ of mandamus with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, challenging the district court’s order.  The Ninth Circuit denied the petition, holding that the district court’s order was not “clearly erroneous as a matter of law.”