Carroll v. City & County of San Francisco, 2019 WL 5617019 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019)

Joyce Carroll retired from her job working for the City of San Francisco in 2000 due to rheumatoid arthritis; since that time, Carroll received monthly disability retirement benefit payments. Plaintiff alleged that she became aware in 2017 (17 years after she had retired) that the City provided employees such as herself who were over the age of 40 when they were hired “reduced retirement benefits” by using a standard policy that has a disparate impact on older employees. Carroll filed her complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) in 2017. In response to the putative class action lawsuit Carroll filed, the City filed a demurrer, claiming Carroll had failed to timely file an administrative charge with the DFEH. The trial court sustained the demurrer with leave to amend to allow the substitution of a new named representative to properly represent the putative class. In this opinion, the Court of Appeal reversed the trial court and determined that allegedly discriminatory payments made within the limitations period (i.e., in and after 2016) are actionable wrongs under the FEHA.