California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Disability

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Employee Could Proceed With Disability Discrimination And Wrongful Termination Claims

Soria v. Univision Radio Los Angeles, Inc., 5 Cal. App. 5th 570 (2016) Sofia Soria worked as an on-air radio personality for Univision for approximately 14 years before her employment was terminated for alleged tardiness and lack of preparation for her show. In response to Soria’s lawsuit for alleged disability discrimination, Univision argued it had … Continue Reading

Paid Family Leave Benefits Increased

Beginning January 1, 2018, the amount of paid family leave benefits increases from 55 percent of earnings to 60 or 70 percent of earnings, depending on the employee’s income (subject to a maximum weekly benefit limit). In addition, the current seven-day waiting period to receive benefits is eliminated. (AB 908.)… Continue Reading

Laid-Off Employee Could Proceed With Disability Discrimination Claims

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

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

Employer Did Not Violate ADA When It Failed To Return Employee To Full-Time Position Following Medical Leave

Mendoza v. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, 2016 WL 1459214 (9th Cir. 2016) Alice Mendoza worked as a full-time bookkeeper for a small parish church. She took sick leave for 10 months, during which time the pastor of the church took over the bookkeeping duties himself and determined that Mendoza’s job could be … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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