California: Whistleblower’s Participation in Administrative Hearing Unnecessary Before Suing


Matthew A. Goodin, Senior Attorney in the Labor and Employment practice, in the firm’s San Francisco office, authored an article in HR.BLR titled “California: Whistleblower's Participation in Administrative Hearing Unnecessary Before Suing.”

Following is an excerpt:

Most public employers should be aware of the legal requirement that employees exhaust administrative procedures before filing a lawsuit arising out of their employment. Similarly, California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employees to file a claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) before they can file a lawsuit.

In addition, union employees covered by collective bargaining agreements generally must follow the grievance procedure under the agreement before filing a lawsuit.

An employee's failure to exhaust any of these mandatory procedures will generally bar a lawsuit against his employer. You should always be on the lookout for opportunities to use this valuable defense.