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Employers, beware: Employees fired with malice can win millions in court

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ADP wrongfully terminated the plaintiff’s employment after he refused to resume his job duties because he reasonably believed that the work was against the law, the jury said. ADP fired him with malice, oppression, or fraud, the jury added. The defendants appealed.

Findings on employer’s violations upheld

In the case of Zirpel v. Alki David Productions, Inc., the California Court of Appeal for the Second District affirmed the judgment of the trial court in the plaintiff’s favor.

First, the appellate court found a violation of section 1102.5(c) of the Labor Code, which prohibited an employer from retaliating against an employee who refused to participate in an activity that would breach the law.

The plaintiff’s continued work at the theater would have violated a statute, rule, or regulation, the appellate court said. The correction notice cited multiple municipal code violations, the appellate court noted.

Second, the appellate court found a violation of section 1102.5(c) of the Labor Code, which prohibited an employer from retaliating against an employee who disclosed information reasonably believed to be a violation of law.

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