Haligowski v. Superior Court, 200 Cal. App. 4th 983 (2011)

While employed by Safway Services, Inc., Lieutenant Mario Pantuso was called to active duty with the United States Navy. When Pantuso returned from his six-month deployment in Iraq and asked for his job back, his immediate supervisor and the regional manager informed him that he was terminated from employment. Pantuso sued Safway and the two managers for discrimination and retaliation in violation of Cal. Military & Veterans Code § 394. The two managers demurred to the complaint on the ground that only an employer could be held liable under the statute. The trial court overruled their demurrers, but the Court of Appeal granted the managers’ petition for writ of mandate, ordering the trial court to enter a new order sustaining the demurrers without leave to amend based on a similar interpretation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act exempting supervisors from liability for discrimination and retaliation.