What It Takes to Prove to Win a Wrongful Termination and Whistleblower Retaliation Case in California We all hope that the employer for whom we work every day will always conduct its business in a wholly legal and ethical manner. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen and, when it doesn't, it may fall to you to be a whistleblower. Taking that action shouldn't cost you your job but, for a lot of whistleblowers, it does. If that happens to you, your situation may be an instance of wrongful termination in violation of the law and, with the help of a knowledgeable San Mateo wrongful termination lawyer, you may be able to recover significant relief through a lawsuit. Fortunately for whistleblowers here in California, the state Supreme Court recently made it clear that, of the two methods for determining if illegal retaliation occurred, California law requires the use of the more employee-friendly one. That ruling came about in the case of W.L., a Southern California man who worked for a paint manufacturer stocking and merchandising his employer's products in Lowe's stores across Southern California. In the spring of 2017, W.L.'s supervisor allegedly ordered him to begin intentionally "mis-tinting" slow-selling paint colors. Mis-tinting slow-selling colors would force Lowe's to sell the paint on clearance at a steep discount (giving the paint the label of "Oops" and marking it more than 50% off the retail price,) which would allow the manufacturer to avoid being forced to buy back the excess unsold paint, as its contract with Lowe's required. W.L. made two anonymous complaints to the employer's ethics hotline. The employer eventually made the supervisor stop the practice, but did not fire the supervisor. The employer also continued to allow the man to continue supervising the whistleblower. A few months later, the supervisor recommended that the employer fire W.L., and the employer did so. In a retaliation and wrongful termination case like this worker's, there are two ways that a trial court can decide if a violation has occurred. One is a three-part test originally established in a U.S. Supreme Court case called McDonnell Douglas v. Green. The other is a framework set up by California Labor Code Section 1102.6. The "McDonnell Douglas test" is distinctly less whistleblower-friendly than is the standard created by Section 1102.6.