Sexual Harassment & Retaliation/anti-SLAPP
Nam v. Regents of UC
The California anti-SLAPP statute was intended to counter the “disturbing increase in lawsuits brought primarily to chill the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition for the redress of grievances.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 425.16, subd. (a).) It has been suggested that “[t]he cure has become the disease—SLAPP motions are now just the latest form of abusive litigation.” (Navellier v. Sletten (2002) 29 Cal.4th 82, 96 (dis. opn. of Brown, J.) (Navellier).) And the disease would become fatal for most harassment, discrimination, and retaliation actions against public employers if we were to accept the Regents of the University of California’s (University) misguided reading of the anti-SLAPP law and reverse the trial court’s denial of its motion to strike. We agree with plaintiff Un Hui Nam that defendant did not sustain its burden to demonstrate that the gravamen of her claims for sexual harassment and retaliation arose from defendant’s protected First Amendment activity. The trial court’s order therefore is affirmed.