Phillips v. St. Mary Regional Med. Ctr., 96 Cal. App. 4th 218 (2002)

Plaintiff, a former social worker for St. Mary, a nonprofit, religiously-affiliated hospital, alleged wrongful termination in violation of the public policy against race and sex discrimination as embodied in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the California Constitution and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The trial court sustained St. Mary’s demurrer on the basis of the religious-entity exemption that existed (prior to 2000) under the FEHA. The Court of Appeal reversed, holding that although the FEHA could not provide the basis for a public policy claim (because of the religious-entity exemption), the California Constitution and Title VII could.