Williams v. Sacramento River Cats Baseball Club, LLC, 40 Cal. App. 5th 280 (2019)

Wilfert Williams sued the Sacramento River Cats Baseball Club under a common law tort action for allegedly failing to hire him as an assistant visitor clubhouse manager because of his race. The trial court sustained the employer’s demurrer to the complaint on the ground that California law does not recognize a common law cause of action for failure to hire in violation of public policy. The Court of Appeal affirmed dismissal of the claim on the ground that only an employee (as distinguished from an applicant) may bring a common law claim for discrimination against an employer. The Court noted, however, “plaintiff is not without recourse” because Williams could have sued under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). Cf. Rojas v. Federal Aviation Admin., 2019 WL 5382055 (9th Cir. 2019) (rejected air traffic control applicant is entitled to some information regarding application process under the Freedom of Information Act).