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California Employment Law Blog

Category Archives: Disability

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University Professor Was Properly Terminated For Refusing Fitness-For-Duty Exam

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, FEHA, Privacy, Public Employment, Reasonable Accommodation, Retaliation

Kao v. The University of San Francisco, 229 Cal. App. 4th 437 (2014) Dr. John S. Kao was a tenured professor at USF who submitted a 485-page complaint (plus a 41-page addendum) to the university alleging race-based discrimination and harassment at the school. Kao was not satisfied with the university’s two-page response, which he said… Continue Reading

Unpaid Interns Are Now Protected Against Discrimination and Harassment

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Policies, FEHA, Harassment, New and Proposed Laws and Legislation, News, Reasonable Accommodation, Religion, Retaliation, Uncategorized, Wage and Hour

On September 9, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1443, which extends the state’s anti-harassment and anti-discrimination protections to unpaid interns. Employers are now prohibited from discrimination based on protected characteristics in the “selection, termination, training or other terms” of unpaid interns. A.B. 1443 also prohibits harassment of unpaid interns based on protected characteristics,… Continue Reading

Update: California Employees Entitled to Paid Sick Leave Starting July 2015

Posted in Disability, Employee Benefits, Employment Policies, New and Proposed Laws and Legislation, News

On September 10th, California became the second state in the country to require businesses to provide employees with paid sick leave, following Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of A.B. 1522, which goes into effect on July 1, 2015, and will be known as the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.   Click here to read… Continue Reading

Police Officer’s ADHD Was Not a Disability Within The Meaning of the ADA

Posted in ADA, Disability, Wrongful Termination

Weaving v. City of Hillsboro, 2014 WL 3973411 (9th Cir. 2014) Matthew Weaving worked as a police officer for the City of Hillsboro for approximately three years before his employment was terminated due to “severe interpersonal problems” between him and other employees of the police department.  Weaving contended that his interpersonal problems resulted from his… Continue Reading

Store Manager’s Disability And Harassment Claims Were Properly Dismissed

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes

Lawler v. Montblanc N. Am., LLC, 704 F.3d 1235 (9th Cir. 2013) Cynthia Lawler alleged disability discrimination, harassment, retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”) associated with the termination of her employment. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Montblanc, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Montblanc had… Continue Reading

Police Officer Who Had Heart Attack Could Not Perform Essential Functions Of Administrative Job

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, FEHA

Lui v. City and County of San Francisco, 211 Cal. App. 4th 962 (2012) After suffering a major heart attack, Kenneth Lui retired from his position as a police officer with the San Francisco Police Department. After the Department informed him there were no administrative positions available that did not require him to perform the… Continue Reading

Teacher/Minister’s Disability Discrimination Claim Is Barred By The First Amendment

Posted in ADA, Disability, Employment Law Notes, Religion, Supreme Court, Wrongful Termination

Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC, 565 U.S. ___, 132 S. Ct. 680 (2012) Cheryl Perich was a “called” teacher for the church and also had the formal title of “Minister of Religion, Commissioned.” After Perich developed narcolepsy, the church replaced her with a lay teacher and eventually terminated her employment for “insubordination… Continue Reading

Teacher With Expired Teaching Certificate Was Not “Qualified” Within The Meaning Of The ADA

Posted in ADA, Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, Reasonable Accommodation

Johnson v. Board of Trustees, 2011 WL 6091313 (9th Cir. 2011) Patricia Johnson, who had a history of depression and bipolar disorder, taught special education for a school district in Idaho for a decade. Before her teaching certificate expired in 2007, Johnson failed to take sufficient college courses to obtain a renewal of the certificate… Continue Reading

Section 1981 Claim Is Subject to Four-Year Statute of Limitations

Posted in Disability, Employment Law Notes, Retaliation

Johnson v. Lucent Techs. Inc., 653 F.3d 1000 (2011) In 2008, Russell H. Johnson, III, an African-American, sued Lucent and the administrator of his disability insurance benefits for retaliation in violation of Title VII, violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and intentional infliction of emotional distress in retaliation for his filing suit against Lucent in… Continue Reading

ADA “Impliedly Amended” The National Bank Act’s Termination-at-Pleasure Clause

Posted in ADA, Disability, Employment Law Notes, FEHA

Quinn v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 196 Cal. App. 4th 168 (2011) Robert Quinn, a former senior vice president of U.S. Bank, alleged he was denied accommodation, harassed and terminated because of a physical disability in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act. U.S. Bank obtained summary judgment from the trial court on the ground… Continue Reading

The State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section Presents 2011 Employment Law Update: A Mid-Year Review of Recent Developments

Posted in Computer and Internet Use, Disability, News, Supreme Court, Wage and Hour

On Wednesday, June 22, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., Anthony Oncidi of Proskauer and plaintiff-side attorney, Andrew Friedman of Helmer Friedman LLP, will summarize the latest developments and discuss the practical implications of this year’s most significant employment decisions. Among other developments, attendees will hear about the new U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding the “cat’s… Continue Reading

Telecommunications Installer’s Disability Discrimination Claim Was Properly Dismissed On Summary Judgment

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, FEHA, Reasonable Accommodation, Wrongful Termination

DFEH v. Lucent Technologies, Inc., 642 F.3d 728 (2011) The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and Steven Carauddo alleged Lucent violated the Fair Employment and Housing Act when it terminated Carauddo’s employment as an installer because he could not lift more than 30 pounds due to a back injury. The district court granted… Continue Reading

Employee With Bipolar Disorder Who Threatened Co-Workers Was Not Discriminated Against On The Basis Of Her Disability

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, Leaves of Absence

Wills v. Superior Court, 194 Cal. App. 4th 312 (2011) Linda Wills, who worked as a clerk for the Orange County Superior Court, was terminated from her employment after she told co-workers she was going to add them to her “Kill Bill” list and forwarded a cell phone ringtone to several people, including a co-worker,… Continue Reading

Rehabilitated Drug Addict’s Disability Claims Were Properly Dismissed

Posted in ADA, Disability, Drug Policies, Employment Law Notes, FLSA

Lopez v. Pacific Maritime Ass’n, 636 F.3d 1197 (2011) When Santiago Lopez first applied to be a longshoreman in 1997, his application was rejected because he tested positive for marijuana. The PMA, which represents the shipping lines, stevedore companies and terminal operators that run the ports along the west coast, follows a “one-strike rule,” which… Continue Reading

Employee Could Proceed With Disability Discrimination And Harassment Claims

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, Reasonable Accommodation, Workers Compensation

Stiefel v. Bechtel Corp., 624 F.3d 1240 (2010) James Richard Stiefel worked for Bechtel as an ironworker at a power plant. Five weeks before he was laid off, Stiefel injured his left hand while on the job. In his lawsuit, Stiefel alleged Bechtel laid him off as part of a “medical reduction in force,” which… Continue Reading

Stroke Victim Could Proceed With Disability And Age Discrimination Claims

Posted in ADEA, Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes

Sandell v. Taylor-Listug, Inc., 188 Cal. App. 4th 297 (2010) Robert Sandell began his employment as vice president of sales with Taylor-Listug in February 2004. Six months later, while on a six-month sabbatical from work, Sandell suffered a stroke (following a chiropractic adjustment). When Sandell returned to work in October, he was using a cane… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Approves Denial Of Employee’s Request For $871,000 In Attorney’s Fees

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, FEHA, Retaliation

Chavez v. City of Los Angeles, 47 Cal. 4th 970 (2010) Over the course of six years, Robert Chavez, a Los Angeles Police Department officer, and his wife filed multiple lawsuits against the LAPD and other members of the LAPD, alleging a variety of claims involving discrimination, harassment and retaliation. In this particular lawsuit, Chavez… Continue Reading

Employer Was Entitled To Summary Judgment In Disability Discrimination Case

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, Reasonable Accommodation, Retaliation, Serious Health Conditions

Scotch v. Art Inst. of Cal.-Orange County, Inc., 173 Cal. App. 4th 986 (2009) Carmine Scotch sued his former employer, the Art Institute of California-Orange County, Inc. (“AIC”) for discrimination based on his disability (HIV), failure to make reasonable accommodation, failure to engage in the required interactive process, failure to maintain a workplace free of… Continue Reading

County Did Not Discriminate Against Employee With Rare Blood Disease

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, FEHA, Reasonable Accommodation

Wilson v. County of Orange, 169 Cal. App. 4th 1185 (2009) Julie Ann Wilson worked as a radio dispatcher for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s emergency communications system. Wilson sued the County for disability discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) on the ground that it allegedly had failed to make reasonable accommodation… Continue Reading

Diabetic Employee Was Protected Under Americans With Disabilities Act

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes

Rohr v. Salt River Project Agric. Improvement & Power Dist., 2009 WL 349798 (9th Cir. 2009) Larry Rohr, an insulin-dependent type 2 diabetic, brought suit for employment discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The district court granted the employer’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds that he failed to raise a material… Continue Reading

Catering Employee Could Proceed With Family Leave Claim, But Not Disability Claim

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, Serious Health Conditions

Avila v. Continental Airlines, Inc., 165 Cal. App. 4th 1237 (2008) Henry Avila sued his employer, Chelsea Food Services (a division of Continental Airlines), following his termination for excessive absences from work. Avila sued for disability discrimination and for violation of his rights under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”). The trial court granted summary… Continue Reading

Employee Who Reported Disability During Investigation Into His Alleged Wrongdoing Was Not Discriminated Against

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, Reasonable Accommodation

Arteaga v. Brink’s, Inc., 163 Cal. App. 4th 327 (2008) Brink’s employee Carlos Arteaga was the subject of an internal investigation into various shortages totaling $7,668 that occurred while he was acting in his capacity as an ATM messenger. The investigation was conducted after one of Arteaga’s managers noticed there had been 16 shortages in… Continue Reading