Ex-L’Oréal patent lawyer gets OK for whistleblower suit

Ex-L’Oréal patent lawyer gets OK for whistleblower suit

A former L’Oréal USA employee has been given leave to proceed with his case against the French beauty giant from a federal appeals court under New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), according to a report published by Reuters.

Steven Trzaska had his employment at L’Oréal terminated after complaining about patent application filing quotas, which he maintains required him to compile ‘frivolous’ patents that he knew would be rejected. In the first instance, a district court dismissed his claim on the basis that the quota did not require employees to violate the law.

“An instruction, coercion, or threat by an employer that would result in the disregard of obligatory ethical standards of one’s profession violates a clear mandate of public policy within the meaning of CEPA,” ruled the Third Circuit court.