Pinero v. Specialty Restaurants Corp., 130 Cal. App. 4th 635 (2005)

Alberto Pinero, the former General Manager of the Castaways Restaurant (owned by Specialty Restaurants Corporation (SRC)), sued SRC for retaliation in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act that allegedly resulted from Pinero’s filing an age discrimination lawsuit against his former employer and a member of the Monterey Park City Council, Alfred Balderrama. SRC believed that Pinero’s lawsuit against Balderrama was frivolous and should be dismissed. The trial court granted SRC’s motion for nonsuit. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that Pinero had failed to present any evidence of “adverse employment action.” The Court concluded that Pinero’s evidence of alleged retaliation against him (for refusing to dismiss the lawsuit against Balderrama) did not demonstrate any retaliatory motive by Pinero’s supervisors and was not likely to deter others from engaging in protected activity.