CACI No. 4604. Affirmative Defense - Same Decision (Lab. Code, § 1102.6)

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2020 edition)

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4604.Affirmative Defense - Same Decision (Lab. Code, § 1102.6)
If [name of plaintiff] proves that [his/her/nonbinary pronoun] [disclosure of
information of/refusal to participate in] an unlawful act was a
contributing factor to [his/her/nonbinary pronoun] [discharge/[other
adverse employment action]], [name of defendant] is not liable if [he/she/
nonbinary pronoun/it] proves by clear and convincing evidence that [he/
she/nonbinary pronoun/it] would have [discharged/[other adverse
employment action]] [name of plaintiff] anyway at that time for legitimate,
independent reasons.
New December 2013; Renumbered from CACI No. 2731 and Revised June 2015
Directions for Use
Give this instruction in a so-called mixed-motive case under the whistleblower
protection statute of the Labor Code. (See Lab. Code, § 1102.5; CACI No. 4603,
Whistleblower Protection - Essential Factual Elements.) A mixed-motive case is one
in which there is evidence of both a retaliatory and a legitimate reason for the
adverse action. Even if the jury finds that the retaliatory reason was a contributing
factor, the employer may avoid liability if it can prove by clear and convincing
evidence that it would have made the same decision anyway for a legitimate reason.
(Lab. Code, § 1102.6.)
Sources and Authority
• Same-Decision Affirmative Defense. Labor Code section 1102.6.
• “[Plaintiff] points to Labor Code section 1102.6, which requires the employer to
prove a same-decision defense by clear and convincing evidence when a plaintiff
has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the employer’s violation of
the whistleblower statute was a ‘contributing factor’ to the contested employment
decision. Yet the inclusion of the clear and convincing evidence language in one
statute does not suggest that the Legislature intended the same standard to apply
to other statutes implicating the same-decision defense.” (Harris v. City of Santa
Monica (2013) 56 Cal. 4th 203, 239 [152 Cal.Rptr.3d 392, 294 P.3d 49]; internal
citation omitted.)
• “[W]hen we refer to a same-decision showing, we mean proof that the employer,
in the absence of any discrimination, would have made the same decision at the
time it made its actual decision.”(Harris, supra, 56 Cal.4th at p. 224, original
italics.)
Secondary Sources
3 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Agency and Employment,
§ 349
Chin et al., California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation, Ch. 5-L, Employment
1309
Copyright Judicial Council of California
Torts And Related Claims: Other Statutory Claims, ¶ 5:894 et seq. (The Rutter
Group)
4 Wilcox, California Employment Law, Ch. 60, Liability for Wrongful Termination
and Discipline, § 60.03 (Matthew Bender)
21 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 249, Employment Law:
Termination and Discipline, § 249.12 (Matthew Bender)
CACI No. 4604 WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION
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Copyright Judicial Council of California

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