• Employer Can Terminate an Employee for Lying During Investigation

    The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), specifically Gov’t Code §12940(h), makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discharge a person because the person testified or assisted in any “proceeding under this part.”  So what is an employer supposed to do when an employee lies or is uncooperative during a sexual harassment investigation?  According to the Sixth Appellate District, it is not unlawful to terminate an employee because, in keeping with analogous authority interpreting Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, FEHA §12940(h) does not shield an employee against termination or lesser discipline for either lying or withholding information during an employer’s internal investigation of a discrimination claim.

    The appellate court also rejected the employee’s termination in violation of public policy claim and his defamation claim.

    The case can be reviewed here.

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    Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
     
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