LAWSON USHERS IN A NEW ERA FOR EMPLOYEE WHISTLEBLOWERS . . . OR DOES IT?
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Within the past two years, Cal. Lab. Code § 1102.5,1 California’s general whistleblower protection law, went from being a secondary cause of action to the most important one for most employees alleging retaliation. Two critical events spurred this change: (1) the 2020 amendment to section 1102.5 allowing successful plaintiffs to recover attorney’s fees; and (2) the California Supreme Court’s January 2022 decision in Lawson v. PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc.,2 which clarified the framework for evaluating section 1102.5 claims. But while the benefits of attorney’s fees are readily apparent, the extent of Lawson’s impact remains to be seen.