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California Employment Law Blog

Category Archives: FEHA

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Laid-Off Employee Could Proceed With Disability Discrimination Claims

Posted in ADA, California Labor & Employment Law, CFRA, Disability, FEHA, Serious Health Conditions, Wrongful Termination

Moore v. The Regents of the Univ. of Cal., 2016 WL 3434186 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) Deborah Moore was employed as the Director of Marketing for the University of California San Diego (UCSD) until her job was eliminated shortly after she got a new supervisor who believed that the job functions that Moore was performing… Continue Reading

Employee Who Needed To Assist Disabled Son Could Proceed With “Associational Disability Discrimination” Claim

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, FEHA, Reasonable Accommodation, Retaliation, Wrongful Termination

Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc., 246 Cal. App. 4th 180 (2016) Luis Castro-Ramirez sued his former employer, Dependable Highway Express, Inc., for “associational disability discrimination,” failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) and wrongful termination. Castro-Ramirez’s son requires daily dialysis, and Castro-Ramirez must administer the treatment… Continue Reading

Employee Could Proceed With Wrongful Termination Claim Based Upon Work-Related Injury

Posted in Disability, FEHA, Labor Code § 132, Wrongful Termination

Prue v. Brady Co./San Diego, Inc., 196 Cal. Rptr. 3d 68 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) Adam Prue alleged wrongful termination of his employment based upon a work related injury, which violated the public policy set forth in Labor Code § 132a. The trial court granted the employer’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds that… Continue Reading

Disability Discrimination Claims Were Properly Dismissed On Summary Judgment

Posted in Disability, FEHA, Leaves of Absence, Reasonable Accommodation

Nealy v. City of Santa Monica, 2015 WL 632228 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) Tony Nealy worked as a solid waste equipment operator for the City of Santa Monica before injuring his knee in July 2003 while moving a large bin full of food waste. Nealy was temporarily totally disabled due to the injury until 2005… Continue Reading

School Teacher With Breast Cancer Could Proceed With Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, FEHA, Reasonable Accommodation

Swanson v. Morongo Unified School Dist., 2014 WL 7399317 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) Lauralyn Swanson was a teacher for the Yucca Valley Elementary School who was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. After the district’s board of education voted not to renew Swanson’s contract, Swanson sued for discrimination based on medical condition, denial… Continue Reading

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

Franchisor Is Not Liable For Franchisee’s Alleged Sexual Harassment Of Its Employee

Posted in FEHA, Sexual Harassment

Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, 2014 WL 4236175 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) Taylor Patterson was hired by Sui Juris (a franchisee of Domino’s Pizza) to serve customers at its store.  Patterson alleged that she was sexually harassed by Renee Miranda, an adult male who held the title of assistant manager of the Sui Juris store. … Continue Reading

$60,000 Sexual Harassment Verdict Is Affirmed

Posted in Discrimination, FEHA, Sexual Harassment, Wrongful Termination

Kim v. Konad USA Distribution, Inc., 226 Cal. App. 4th 1336 (2014) Following a bench trial, Esther Kim was awarded $60,000 against her former employer (Konad) and her former boss (Dong Whang) for sexual harassment and wrongful termination. Curiously, defendants did not challenge the pleadings or file any pretrial motion to dispose of any part… Continue Reading

“Unauthorized Alien” Who Provided False SSN Can Proceed With Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Posted in Discrimination, FEHA, Immigration

Salas v. Sierra Chem. Co., 2014 WL 2883878 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) Vicente Salas worked on Sierra Chemical’s production line, filling containers with various chemicals. At the time of his hire, Salas provided Sierra with a resident alien card and a Social Security card and signed an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 Form). After allegedly… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Limits Recovery for Employees Who Misrepresent Their Immigration Status

Posted in E-Verify, Federal Jurisdiction, FEHA, Immigration, Wrongful Termination

On June 26, 2014, the California Supreme Court handed down Salas v. Sierra Chemical, a case at the intersection of employment and immigration law. Salas, a former employee of Sierra Chemical, filed suit alleging disability discrimination and wrongful termination. Prior to trial, Salas notified the court that he would assert a Fifth Amendment privilege to… Continue Reading

Male Employee’s Sexual Harassment Claims Should Not Have Been Dismissed

Posted in FEHA, Retaliation, Sexual Harassment

Lewis v. City of Benicia, 224 Cal. App. 4th 1519 (2014) Brian Lewis, a heterosexual man, sued his former employer (the City of Benecia) and two former male supervisors for sexual harassment and the City for retaliation. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the supervisors (Steve Hickman and Rick Lantrip) and judgment… Continue Reading

Employee’s Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Was Not Barred By Shortened Statute Of Limitations

Posted in Employment Applications, FEHA

Ellis v. U.S. Sec. Assocs., 224 Cal. App. 4th 1213 (2014) When Ashley Ellis applied to work as a security guard for U.S. Security Associates, she signed an employment application that purported to limit the statute of limitations to six months for any employment-related claims. Later, Ellis claimed to have been sexually harassed by her… Continue Reading

March 2014 California Employment Law Notes

Posted in Attorney's Fees, Class Actions, Collective Bargaining, Employment Law Notes, FEHA, FMLA, Harassment, Kin Care, Leaves of Absence, Overtime, Privacy, Retaliation, Sexual Harassment, Wage and Hour, Whistleblowers, Wrongful Termination

$150,000 Sexual Harassment Verdict And $680,000 Fee Award Affirmed Taylor v. Nabors Drilling USA, LP, 222 Cal. App. 4th 1228 (2014) Max Taylor worked as a floorhand on an oil rig where he alleged he was harassed by his supervisors who called him “queer,” “fagot [sic],” “homo,” and “gay porn star” and was subjected to… Continue Reading

California Moves to Reinstate Large Emotional Distress Damage Awards in “Mixed Motive” Cases

Posted in Discrimination, Employee Discipline, FEHA, Harassment, New and Proposed Laws and Legislation, Wrongful Termination

As regular readers of this blog know, it has been a busy summer for employment-related legislation in the California Legislature (see here and here). Yet of all the bills currently wending their way through the legislative process, none would affect California employment law more than Senate Bill 655. If enacted, SB 655 would modify the… Continue Reading

California Amends Sexual Harassment Law

Posted in FEHA, New and Proposed Laws and Legislation, Sexual Harassment

Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 292 this week, amending the Fair Employment and Housing Act to allow an employee claiming sexual harassment to prevail without having to show that the allegedly harassing conduct was motivated by the harasser’s “sexual desire.” S.B. 292 was authored by Senate majority leader Ellen M. Corbett and principally sponsored by… Continue Reading

California Senate Bill 404 Would Add Legal Protection for Employees Who Provide Medical or Supervisory Care to Family Members

Posted in FEHA, New and Proposed Laws and Legislation

California employers are well-advised to keep an eye on Senate Bill 404, a proposed amendment to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), California’s primary anti-employment discrimination law.  If enacted, SB 404 would add another category to the already lengthy list of protected characteristics under the FEHA – “familial status,” which is defined as “an… Continue Reading

Employee’s Wrongful Termination And Defamation Claims Were Properly Dismissed

Posted in Defamation, Employment Law Notes, FEHA, Wrongful Termination

McGrory v. Applied Signal Tech., 212 Cal. App. 4th 1510 (2013) John McGrory alleged his employment was terminated because he is male and because he participated in his employer’s internal investigation. He also alleged defamation associated with a statement the vice president of human resources made to another employee about why McGrory had been terminated…. Continue Reading

Employee Who Exhausted Four Months Of Pregnancy Leave Was Entitled To Further Disability Leave

Posted in Employment Law Notes, FEHA, Pregnancy Leave

Sanchez v. Swissport, Inc., 2013 WL 635266 (Cal. Ct. App. 2013) In a case of first impression, the California Court of Appeal determined in this case whether an employee who has exhausted all permissible leave (four months) under the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”) may state a claim for failure to accommodate a disability… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Revises Jury Instructions And Trial Procedures In Discrimination Cases

Posted in Employment Law Notes, FEHA, Wrongful Termination

Harris v. Superior Court, 56 Cal. 4th 203 (2013) Wynona Harris alleged her employment was terminated by the City of Santa Monica because of her pregnancy in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The city claimed Harris had been fired for poor job performance – she had two preventable traffic accidents and… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Rules On Mixed Motive Defense To Discrimination Claims, But Large Verdicts Persist…

Posted in Discrimination, FEHA

Harris v. City of Santa Monica, No. S181004, 2013 Cal. LEXIS 941 (Feb. 7, 2013) Wynona Harris, a bus driver for the City of Santa Monica (the City), alleged that she was fired because of her pregnancy in violation of the prohibition against sex discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).  The City… Continue Reading