California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: sexual harassment

DFEH Releases Guidelines On Preventing and Correcting Harassment

Last month the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) announced the release of a new guide for California employers on the steps they should take to prevent and correct workplace harassment. The nine page document provides employers with a helpful FAQ-style guide to maintaining an effective anti-harassment program, appropriately responding to employee complaints, and … 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

Independent Contractor Can Proceed With Sexual Harassment Claim Against City

Hirst v. City of Oceanside, 236 Cal. App. 4th 774 (2015) Kimberli Hirst, an employee of American Forensic Nurses, Inc., sued the City of Oceanside after she was allegedly sexually harassed by an Oceanside police officer while providing phlebotomist services on behalf of the Oceanside Police Department. A jury awarded Hirst $1.5 million, which the … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

March 2014 California Employment Law Notes

$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 Amends Sexual Harassment Law

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

Sexual Assault Victim’s Motion To Strike Supervisor’s Defamation Claim Was Properly Granted

Aber v. Comstock, 212 Cal. App. 4th 931 (2013) Lisa Aber sued her employer and two co-employees (Michael Comstock, Aber’s supervisor, and James Cioppa) for sexual harassment and sexual battery, among other things. Comstock filed a cross-complaint against Aber in which he alleged defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In response to Comstock’s cross-complaint, … Continue Reading

Sexual Harassment Complaints Are Subject To Anti-SLAPP Motions To Strike

Aber v. Comstock, 2012 WL 6863235 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2012) Plaintiff Lisa Aber sued her employer and two of its employees, alleging that the employees had sexually assaulted her.  Michael Comstock, one of the employee defendants, filed a cross-complaint against Aber, alleging claims for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Comstock alleged … Continue Reading

School District Could Be Vicariously Liable For Negligent Supervision Of School Personnel

C.A. v. William S. Hart Union High Sch., 53 Cal. 4th 861 (2012) Through a guardian ad litem, C.A. alleged that while he was a student at Golden Valley High School, he was subjected to sexual harassment and abuse by Roselyn Hubbell, the head guidance counselor at his school. C.A. sued the school district for … Continue Reading

LAPD Officer’s $2.1 Million Jury Award For Retaliation Is Reversed

Joaquin v. City of Los Angeles, 202 Cal. App. 4th 1207 (2012) Richard Joaquin alleged his employment as an LAPD officer was terminated in retaliation for his having filed a sexual harassment complaint against his supervisor, Sgt. James Sands. The case was tried to a jury and Joaquin was awarded more than $2.1 million in … Continue Reading

January 2012 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2012 California Employment Law Notes – a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Insurance Claims Adjusters May Be Exempt Administrative Employees Attorney Was Properly Denied Precertification Discovery To Find A New Class Representative Employee-Attorney’s $440,000 Verdict Against … Continue Reading

$160,000 Sexual Harassment Verdict And Attorney’s Fee Award Of $677,000 Affirmed

Fuentes v. AutoZone, Inc., 200 Cal. App. 4th 1221 (2011) Marcela Fuentes worked as a part-time customer service representative (cashier) for AutoZone. Fuentes alleged that two managers (Melvin Garcia and Gonzalo Carrillo) had spread rumors that Fuentes had sexually transmitted herpes; that she and a coworker were engaged in a sexual relationship; and that she … Continue Reading

Employee Failed To Prove Existence Of Severe Or Pervasive Sexual Harassment

Brennan v. Townsend & O’Leary Enter., Inc., 199 Cal. App. 4th 1336 (2011) Stephanie Crowley Brennan sued her former employer and a manager who was not her supervisor (Scott Montgomery) for sexual harassment. A jury awarded Brennan $200,000 against the agency and $50,000 against Montgomery, but the trial court granted defendants’ motion for judgment notwithstanding … Continue Reading

September 2011 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly posted September 2011 California Employment Law Notes — a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law.  The highlights include: Employee Who Provided False SSN and Other Information Was Barred from Suing for Disability Discrimination Employer Did Not Violate CFRA by Transferring Employee upon Her … Continue Reading

Employee’s Lawyer Should Not Be Present During Client’s Psych Exam

Toyota v. Superior Court, 189 Cal. App. 4th 1391 (2010) Steven Braun sued Toyota Motor Sales and his supervisor Randall Bauer for gender discrimination, sexual harassment, defamation, constructive discharge and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Toyota and Bauer filed a motion to compel Braun to submit to an independent psychiatric examination, which the … Continue Reading

Male Victim Of Sexual Harassment By Female Co-Worker May Proceed With Lawsuit

EEOC v. Prospect Airport Servs., 2010 WL 3448119 (9th Cir. 2010) Rudolpho Lamas and Sylvia Munoz were co-workers employed by Prospect Airport Services, Inc. at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. Lamas, whose wife died in September 2001, began working at Prospect in the spring of 2002. During the fall of 2002, Munoz, who was married, … Continue Reading

Male Pilots Terminated For Harassing Flight Attendant Were Not Victims Of Discrimination

Hawn v. Executive Jet Mgmt., Inc., 621 F.3d 991 (2010) Gregory Hawn, Michael Prince and Aric Aldrich (all pilots) were terminated by Executive Jet Management after a female flight attendant, Robin McCrea, alleged they had sexually harassed her and created a hostile work environment involving an array of conduct including sexualized banter, crude jokes and … Continue Reading

Trustee Of Estate Did Not Sexually Harass Widow

Hughes v. Pair, 46 Cal. 4th 1035 (2009) Suzan Hughes, the third wife of Herbalife founder Mark Hughes, sued Christopher Pair, one of the three trustees of Mark’s estate, for sexual harassment under Civil Code § 51.9 (which prohibits sexual harassment in certain business, service and professional relationships) and for intentional infliction of emotional distress. … Continue Reading

Patient Could Proceed With Lawsuit Against Hospital Based On Employee’s Alleged Sexual Abuse

C.R. v. Tenet Healthcare Corp., 169 Cal. App. 4th 1094 (2009) In this class action, C.R. sued Tenet Healthcare for sexual harassment in violation of Civil Code § 51.9 (prohibiting sexual harassment by a health care provider), negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress based upon nursing assistant Ramon Eduardo Gaspar’s alleged sexual touching of … Continue Reading

Employee Who Was Interviewed During Internal Investigation Was Protected From Retaliation

Crawford v. Metropolitan Gov’t of Nashville & Davidson County, 555 U.S. 271 (2009) Vicky Crawford was interviewed during the course of an investigation into “rumors of sexual harassment” involving the Metro School District’s employee relations director, Gene Hughes. Crawford described several instances of sexually harassing behavior that Hughes allegedly directed at her; two other employees … Continue Reading

Employee May Proceed With Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claim

Dominguez v. Washington Mut. Bank, 168 Cal. App. 4th 714 (2008) Yoko Dominguez, a former temporary employee of Washington Mutual assigned to processing outgoing mail, alleged that a co-worker (Javier Gutierrez) had made crude and offensive comments to her after learning that Dominguez was a lesbian. Dominguez complained about Gutierrez’s comments to her supervisor’s supervisor … Continue Reading

Social Worker Was An Employee Within The Meaning Of The FEHA And Was Sexually Harassed

Bradley v. California Dep’t of Corrections & Rehabilitation, 158 Cal. App. 4th 1612 (2008) Sallie Mae Bradley worked temporarily at a California prison as a licensed clinical social worker. Bradley sued the California Department of Corrections (“CDC”) for sexual harassment directed at her by the prison’s Muslim chaplain, Omar Shakir. The jury awarded her $300,000 … Continue Reading
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