Choochagi v. Barracuda Networks, Inc.Annotate this Case
In 2012, Barracuda hired Choochagi. In 2013, Choochagi reported to Human Resources that his supervisor made inappropriate sexual comments. The company investigated. In 2014, Choochagi began experiencing severe migraine headaches and eye irritation, which required medical treatment. Choochagi was permitted to take time off as requested. Choochagi was later terminated. Barracuda characterized Choochagi as a “poorly performing employee” who made “baseless discrimination claims” after he was terminated. Choochagi filed suit under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), and alleged wrongful termination in violation of public policy. The trial court granted summary adjudication on most of Choochagi’s claims. A jury returned a defense verdict for Barracuda on the remaining claims.
The court of appeal affirmed. Choochagi’s evidence was insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether Choochagi was informed of his right to CFRA leave, whether he requested CFRA leave, and whether any such request was denied. Absent evidence of such a request, Choochagi could not have suffered an adverse employment action because he exercised his right to take CFRA leave. Barracuda submitted evidence that it had policies and procedures in place to prevent discrimination and harassment and that the HR department directed an immediate investigation of Choochagi’s complaint.