The Anti-SLAPP Evolution Continues: California Supreme Court Confirms Anti-SLAPP Protection Can Apply to Retaliation and Discrimination Claims

Arent Fox
Contact

Arent Fox

Does Anti-SLAPP protection apply to retaliation and discrimination cases? The answer is yes.

On July 22, 2019, the Supreme Court of California decided Wilson v. CNN, thereby answering an important, open question of law: Does Anti-SLAPP protection apply to retaliation and discrimination cases? The answer is yes. If a plaintiff sues for retaliation or discrimination based on the defendant’s protected speech or petitioning activity, the Anti-SLAPP statute applies, and a plaintiff will still need to show a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits to survive an Anti-SLAPP challenge.

The Court’s decision, which addressed an employee’s discrimination and retaliation claims, is an important win not only for all California employers, but also for the state’s hospitals and their medical staffs. In the health care and hospital context, the Court’s decision raises hopes that the Anti-SLAPP statute will continue to protect medical staffs from frivolous retaliation lawsuits brought by disgruntled physicians who were disciplined fairly through protected peer review processes. In Wilson, the Court explicitly disapproved of Bonni v. St. Joseph Health System (2017) 13 Cal.App.5th 851, where the Court of Appeal held that a summarily-suspended physician’s allegation of a retaliatory motivation behind his peer review activity means the Anti-SLAPP statute does not apply. Arent Fox represents the defendants in the Bonni case and successfully petitioned the California Supreme Court to grant review of the Court of Appeal’s decision.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Arent Fox | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Arent Fox
Contact
more
less

Arent Fox on:

Reporters on Deadline

Related Case Law

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.