Badge - California Employment Lawyers Association
Badge - Orange County Bar Association
Badge - OCTLA
Badge - Consumer Attorneys of California
Badge - State Bar of California
Badge - American Association for Justice

Passatino v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products, Inc. (9th Cir. 2000) 212 F.3d 493, 507

In Passatino v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products, Inc., the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the issue of retaliatory intent and the inference thereof in cases involving adverse employment actions closely following protected complaints.

Retaliatory intent refers to the underlying motive or purpose of an employer's adverse employment action against an employee who engages in protected activity, such as reporting information about workplace conditions. California Labor Code section 232.5 specifically addresses retaliation against employees who report workplace conditions. It prohibits employers from terminating or retaliating against an employee who has made such reports. The provision seeks to protect employees from adverse employment actions based on their exercise of protected rights.

In Passatino, the court recognized that retaliatory intent may be inferred when an adverse employment action closely follows a protected complaint. This inference is based on the concept of temporal proximity, which acknowledges that when an employer takes retaliatory action soon after a protected complaint, it raises suspicions that the adverse action may be motivated by retaliation rather than legitimate, independent reasons.

The court emphasized that temporal proximity alone is not conclusive evidence of retaliatory intent. It is just one factor to consider in the analysis. Courts will also assess other evidence and factors to determine the employer's motive, such as patterns of behavior, consistency of reasons, documentary evidence, and witness testimony. These additional elements help establish a broader context and assist in determining whether the adverse employment action was a result of retaliation.

The Passatino case highlights the importance of evaluating the totality of the circumstances in retaliation cases. Close temporal proximity between the protected complaint and the adverse employment action serves as evidence to support the inference of retaliatory intent. However, courts will consider other factors and evidence to determine the employer's true motive, as temporal proximity alone may not be sufficient to establish retaliation.

Client Reviews
From the moment I walked in until the moment I stepped out, I felt welcome at Damian’s law offices. His staff is very courteous, and Damian conversates with you in a manner that is understandable. He leaves the lawyer talk for the courthouses and really explains the laws in detail, but at the same time in a manner so that the average Joe can follow. Thank you for your services! Rodrigo Aranda
Hands down the most educated expert in cannabis law! Mr Nassiri is such a pleasure to work with, hes real with you and looks out for the best interest of yourself and your business. I really appreciate his input and I am proud to have him as my attorney. Bstyle Kim
I appreciate an intensive behavior of Nassiri Law group. Damian did a great job. When I met him, I immediately realized that this is the person I want to work with. He helped me a lot by answering all my questions in a wise and professional approach. He provided to me all important info what I needed at that time. Honestly, I think that Damian is one of the best Lawyers I have ever met. Aleksey Globenko