Jimenez v. U.S. Continental Mktg., Inc., 2019 WL 5257938 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019)

Elvia Velasco Jimenez asserted claims under the FEHA against her “contracting employer,” a manufacturing company named U.S. Continental Marketing Inc. (“USCM”) for which she performed services, and a “temporary-staffing agency” named Ameritemps. At trial, the jury agreed with USCM that it was not Jimenez’s employer, and the trial court entered judgment in its favor. The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment in part, holding that Jimenez was entitled to a new trial on her discrimination and wrongful termination claims at which the jury should be instructed that USCM was Jimenez’s employer. The Court held that “where a FEHA claimant presents substantial evidence of an employment relationship that is rebutted only by direction and control evidence outside the bounds of the contractual context (such as in a temporary-staffing situation where hiring, payment, benefits and time-tracking are handled by a temporary-staffing agency), the claimant has demonstrated an employment relationship for FEHA purposes.”