Applying the same reasoning to a factually different

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Applying the same reasoning to a factually different case, the Court in Lingle, 486 U.S. 399, 108 S.Ct. 1877, held that a retaliatory discharge claim was not preempted by § 301. In order for the plaintiff in Lingle to prove her underlying state claim, she was required to show that she was discharged, or threatened to be discharged, and the employer’s motive was to deter her from exercising her rights under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act. Id. at 406-07, 108 S.Ct. 1877. While the plaintiff in Lingle was covered by a collective bargaining agreement, it was unnecessary to look to the collective bargaining agreement in resolving the retaliatory discharge claim. Id. at 407, 108 S.Ct. 1877. Therefore, the retaliatory discharge claim existed outside the collective bargaining agreement and was not preempted by § 301. See id. at 413, 108 S.Ct. 1877. Plaintiff’s wrongful discharge claim at bar is similar to that in Lingle. Because a prima facie
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Spring 2017 LER 590-E: GOVERNMENT REGULATION II 62 | P a g e claim for wrongful discharge exists if plaintiff was discharged from employment in violation of public policy, and existence or non-existence of a prima facie case does not depend on the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement, § 301 does not preempt plaintiff’s state law claim. A court need not interpret any provision of the collective bargaining agreement between plaintiff and defendant. Feld’s obligation to refrain from discharging Hagan does not depend on an express or implied promise set forth in the collective bargaining agreement, but instead reflects a duty imposed by law on all employers in California in order to implement fundamental public policies embodied in statutes, constitutions, and regulations. See Tameny, 164 Cal.Rptr. 839, 610 P.2d at 1335. Furthermore, the California Supreme Court, in dicta, specifically stated that the tort of wrongful discharge is “not a vehicle for enforcement of an employer’s internal policies or the provisions of its agreements with others.” Green, 78 Cal.Rptr.2d 16, 960 P.2d at 1053. Finally, while defendant has the burden of proving jurisdiction, defendant fails to identify any provision of the collective bargaining agreement that a court would need to interpret in resolving plaintiff’s wrongful discharge claim. In fact, defendant’s response to plaintiff’s motion to remand lacks any argument as to why § 301 preempts the wrongful discharge claim under California law. Instead, defendant argues that the court has jurisdiction because § 301 preemption of the emotional distress claim then provides supplemental jurisdiction over the wrongful discharge claim. The emotional distress claim has been dismissed; thus, there is no preemption of the emotional distress claim, much less supplemental jurisdiction flowing from its preemption. Since plaintiff's wrongful discharge claim does not rely on an interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement, § 301 does not preempt this valid state law claim.
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