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Food Bank Whistleblower Sues Former Employer for Retaliation


In addition to being one of the nation’s leading producers of food, California also has some of the most climate-friendly laws.  In 2016, the California Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Act, also known as SB 1383, became law.  It aims to reduce greenhouse gasses in California.  Specifically, it targets methane emissions produced by organic waste in landfills.  When organic waste such as vegetable peelings, yard trimmings, or uneaten food is discarded in landfills, it releases methane, which depletes the ozone layer, whereas, when it is properly composted, it does not.  The law also attempts to improve the food security of California residents by ensuring that less food gets thrown away.  The law requires supermarkets, restaurants, and food banks to compost organic waste.  It also requires restaurants and supermarkets to donate unsold food that is still edible to food banks.  An employee of a food bank has filed a lawsuit against the food bank where he used to work, alleging that the employer fired him when he reported the food bank’s noncompliance with SB 1383.  A Los Angeles retaliation lawyer can help you if your employer fired you in retaliation for your efforts to make your employer comply with the law.

Food Bank Fires Employee for Trying Not to Waste Food

The plaintiff in this case served as the executive director of a nonprofit organization that operates food banks throughout northern California and provides other services with the aim of reducing food insecurity.  His duties included providing information to government officials about the state of food insecurity in the region and about his organization’s efforts to ameliorate the problem.  In his capacity as executive director, he also sometimes served as a subject matter expert in legal cases related to food insecurity and environmental sustainability.

In the course of performing his duties, he disclosed to various government officials the ways in which his organization was not in compliance with the provisions of the Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Act.  Because of this, the employer abruptly terminated the plaintiff’s employment in 2022.  Several other employees of the organization were so surprised by and so angry about this decision that they resigned from their jobs in protest.

It Is Against the Law for Employers to Retaliate Against Whistleblowers

Whistleblower actions, in which an employee reports misconduct or violations of the law by the employer to authorities, are a legally protected activity.  It is against the law for your employer to fire you for engaging in a whistleblower action.  You may still have grounds for a retaliation lawsuit if your employer did not fire you as punishment for the whistleblower claim but instead took some other adverse action, such as demoting you or creating a hostile work environment.

Speak With a Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer

A Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer can help you if your employer fired you for trying to obey the law and protect the environment.  Contact Litigation, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call (424)284-2401.


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