California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Discrimination

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Union Member’s Hostile Work Environment Claim Was Not Preempted By Federal Law

Matson v. UPS, 840 F.3d 1126 (9th Cir. 2016) Mary Matson, a member of the Teamsters Union, worked as a “combination worker” unloading and sorting packages at UPS’s Boeing Field International hub in Seattle. During her employment, Matson allegedly complained that because of her gender she was subject to unfair and demeaning treatment in the workplace.  … Continue Reading

Employee’s Wrongful Termination Claim Was Properly Dismissed, But Other Claims Survive

Goonewardene v. ADP, LLC, 5 Cal. App. 5th 154 (2016) In her fifth amended complaint, Sharmalene Goonewardene alleged claims against her former employer (ADP) for wrongful termination, violation of the Labor Code, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and negligence. The trial court sustained ADP’s demurrer to the complaint without further leave to amend, and the … Continue Reading

Employee’s FEHA Retaliation Claim Was Properly Dismissed

Dinslage v. City & County of San Francisco, 5 Cal. App. 5th 368 (2016) David P. Dinslage is a former employee of the Recreation and Parks Department of the City and County of San Francisco. As a result of a large-scale restructuring of the Department, Dinslage’s employment classification was eliminated and he was laid off.  … Continue Reading

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

Discrimination Claims Against Media Company Are Not Barred By Anti-SLAPP Statute

Wilson v. Cable News Network, Inc., 2016 WL 7217201 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) Stanley Wilson alleged discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination and defamation against CNN, et al., where he worked as a television producer before his employment was terminated following an audit of his work involving suspected plagiarism.  Defendants answered the complaint and then filed a … Continue Reading

Equal Pay Act Expanded

In 2015, the Legislature enacted significant amendments to California’s Equal Pay Act (Labor Code § 1197.5) to address gender wage inequality. This year, the Legislature enacted additional amendments to the statute prohibiting wage inequality based upon race or ethnicity for substantially similar work. (SB 1063.) Additionally, the Legislature enacted a further amendment specifying that an … Continue Reading

No Disclosure Of Juvenile Criminal History Required(Including Rape And Murder)

This bill prohibits an employer from asking an applicant for employment to disclose, or from utilizing as a factor in determining any condition of employment, information concerning or related to an arrest, detention, processing, diversion, supervision, adjudication, or court disposition that occurred while the person was subject to the process and jurisdiction of juvenile court … Continue Reading

Actors’ Online Age Disclosures Restricted

This bill prohibits a commercial online entertainment employment service provider that enters into a contractual agreement to provide specified employment services to an individual paid subscriber from publishing information about the subscriber’s age in an online profile of the subscriber and would require the provider, within five days, to remove from public view in an … Continue Reading

New Notice Regarding Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault And Stalking Protections

Existing law prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for taking time off from work for specified purposes related to addressing the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. This bill requires employers to inform each employee … Continue Reading

California Broadens Its “Fair Pay Act” to Prohibit Race And Ethnicity Discrimination

Around this time last year, Section 1197.5 of the California Labor Code was amended by S.B. 358 in order to “eliminate the gender wage gap in California.” Among other things, the amendment sought to increase wage transparency and made it more difficult for employers to defend against gender-based equal pay claims. On September 30, 2016, … Continue Reading

CA Governor Signs Bill Allowing Actors to Delete Their Age from Online Profiles

On September 24, 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1687 – a measure aimed at preventing age discrimination against film, television, and other professionals in the entertainment industry whose ages could be viewed by casting directors and other potential employers.  As a result of this bill, industry professionals whose profiles are listed on commercial … Continue Reading

Race Discrimination Claim Was Not Barred By Statute Of Limitations

Mitchell v. California Dep’t of Public Health, 1 Cal. App. 5th 1000 (2016) Reginald Mitchell sued his former employer, the California Department of Public Health, for racial discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). The trial court sustained the employer’s demurrer based upon the statute of limitations, but the Court of … Continue Reading

Statute Of Limitations For Constructive Discharge Claim Began To Run After Employee’s Resignation Date

Green v. Brennan, 578 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 1769 (2016) Marvin Green alleged racial discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, claiming he was denied a promotion because he is black; his supervisors had accused Green of the crime of intentionally delaying the mail. In an agreement between the parties dated December … Continue Reading

California Assembly Approves Measure Requiring Single-Occupancy Restrooms to Be Designated “All Gender”

The California Assembly has voted to approve A.B. 1732, which would require all single-occupancy restrooms in any business, public accommodation, or government agency to be branded as “all gender” and ban any single-user bathroom from being designated male- or female-only.  The bill also authorizes building inspectors or other local officials responsible for code enforcement to … 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

Employee Could Proceed With Misclassification Claim, Though Wrongful Termination Claim Was Properly Rejected

Davis v. Farmers Ins. Exch., 245 Cal. App. 4th 1302 (2016) William A. Davis brought suit against Farmers, claiming he had been wrongfully classified as an independent contractor rather than an employee and asserting that he had been wrongfully terminated on the basis of his age. The trial court directed a verdict in Farmers’s favor … Continue Reading

EEOC Sufficiently Conciliated Class Claims Before Bringing Suit, And Employee Stated Hostile Environment Claim

Arizona ex rel. Horne v. The Geo Group, 2016 WL 945634 (9th Cir. 2016) Alice Hancock was employed by Geo as a correctional officer at the Arizona State Prison. Geo contracts with the Arizona Department of Corrections to maintain and operate two facilities in the state. Hancock filed a charge of discrimination and harassment based … 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

New California Regulations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment and Pregnancy Disability Leave

New California anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and pregnancy disability leave regulations go into effect on April 1, 2016.  The substantive law regarding these issues has not changed.  However, the new amendments enumerate detailed requirements regarding anti-harassment policies and investigations, and institute additional notice and recordkeeping requirements. Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Regulations The new anti-discrimination and harassment regulations clarify … Continue Reading

Court Reverses $1 Million Discrimination Verdict Entered Against LA Fire Department

Jumaane v. City of Los Angeles, 241 Cal. App. 4th 1390 (2015) Jabari Jumaane, an African-American firefighter with the Los Angeles Fire Department, sued the City of Los Angeles for racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Following a 34-day jury trial, the jury found for Jumaane on his claims and awarded him more than $1 million … Continue Reading

EEOC Is Entitled To More Information From Employer In Connection With Sex Discrimination Case­

EEOC v. McLane Co., 2015 WL 6457965 (9th Cir. 2015) Damiana Ochoa filed a charge with the EEOC alleging sex discrimination (based on pregnancy) in violation of Title VII, when, after s­­he tried to return to her job following maternity leave, her employer (McLane Co.) informed her that she could not come back to the … Continue Reading

Gender-Based “Fair Pay Act” Enacted

This law amends Labor Code § 1197.5 (SB 358): Broader Prohibition of Gender Wage Differentials Enacted Currently, Section 1197.5 prohibits an employer from paying an employee at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex in the same establishment for equal work. The amendment revises this prohibition, instead prohibiting an … Continue Reading
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