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Whistleblower Claim Should Not Have Been Dismissed In Part – Whistleblowing



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Killgore v. SpecPro Prof’l Servs.,
LLC
, 51 F.4th 973 (9th Cir. 2022)

While consulting for an environmental project for the United
States Army Reserve Command, Aaron Killgore believed he was being
required to prepare an environmental assessment in a manner that
violated federal law. Killgore was fired shortly after he reported
the suspected illegality to his supervisor and the Army
Reserve’s project leader Chief Laura Caballero, who Killgore
alleged gave the unlawful directives. The district court granted
SpecPro’s partial motion for summary judgment, but the Ninth
Circuit reversed, holding that Killgore’s disclosure to his
supervisor was actionable even though the supervisor to whom
Killgore made the disclosure did not have “authority to
investigate, discover, or correct the violation” within the
meaning of Cal. Lab. Code § 1102.5(b). The Court also held
that Killgore’s disclosure to Caballero was an actionable
disclosure to a “government agency” within the meaning of
the statute even though the disclosure was part of Killgore’s
normal duties and Caballero may have been a “wrongdoer”
who was the subject of the disclosure. However, the Ninth Circuit
affirmed dismissal of Killgore’s retaliation claim, finding
that Killgore failed to present evidence that he refused to
participate in illegal activity within the meaning of Section
1102.5(c).


Whistleblower Claim Should Not Have Been Dismissed In Part

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