Acuna v. San Diego Gas & Elec. Co., 217 Cal. App. 4th 1402 (2013)

Esperanza Acuna filed three separate complaints against her employer (San Diego Gas & Electric) with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”): One in March 2006 for racial discrimination and harassment and retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim; one in February 2007 for disability discrimination; and one in October 2008 for retaliatory termination. Acuna filed her civil lawsuit in November 2009 (within one year of the date of the right-to-sue letter issued in response to her third DFEH complaint). SDG&E demurred to the complaint on the ground that it was barred by the one-year statute of limitations. The trial court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend and dismissed Acuna’s lawsuit. The Court of Appeal affirmed dismissal of all claims except the claims for retaliation and wrongful termination, which the court determined had been timely filed. As to the dismissed claims, the Court rejected Acuna’s argument that her 2006 and 2007 DFEH claims were saved either by the continuing violation or equitable tolling doctrines.