Glynn v. Superior Court, 42 Cal. App. 5th 47 (2019)

John Glynn worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative before he commenced a medical leave of absence for a serious eye condition (myopic macular degeneration). Glynn’s doctor provided a medical certification designating his work status as “no work” because Glynn “can’t safely drive.” Although the employer’s reasonable accommodation policy lists “reassignment to a vacant position” as a potential accommodation for a disability, Glynn applied for but did not receive an offer of another position within the company that did not require driving. Approximately six months after Glynn’s medical leave of absence began, his employment was terminated after a “temporary benefits department employee” determined (erroneously) that Glynn was no longer eligible to remain on “inactive status.” Approximately nine months later (after Glynn had filed this lawsuit), the employer conceded the error and offered to reinstate Glynn unconditionally with full back pay, which Glynn rejected because no specific position was offered and because he did not believe the offer was “made in good faith.”

The trial court granted summary adjudication against Glynn on his claims for disability discrimination; retaliation; failure to prevent discrimination and harassment; violation of the whistleblower statute; wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In this writ proceeding, the Court of Appeal issued a writ of mandate directing the trial court to vacate its order dismissing Glynn’s claims for disability discrimination; retaliation; failure to prevent discrimination; wrongful termination in violation of public policy. The Court held that “even assuming the employer’s mistakes were reasonable and made in good faith, a lack of animus does not preclude liability for a disability discrimination claim.” Similarly, the Court held that four emails upon which Glynn relied demonstrated he engaged in “protected activity” by complaining he was not being accommodated for his disability. See also Silbaugh v. Chao, 942 F.3d 911 (9th Cir. 2019) (amended Title VII complaint filed by FAA employee related back to the timely filed original complaint, which had failed to name the proper defendant).

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Photo of Tony Oncidi Tony Oncidi

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including…

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

Tony is recognized as a leading lawyer by such highly respected publications and organizations as the Los Angeles Daily JournalThe Hollywood Reporter, and Chambers USA, which gives him the highest possible rating (“Band 1”) for Labor & Employment.  According to Chambers USA, clients say Tony is “brilliant at what he does… He is even keeled, has a high emotional IQ, is a great legal writer and orator, and never gives up.” Other clients report:  “Tony has an outstanding reputation” and he is “smart, cost effective and appropriately aggressive.” Tony is hailed as “outstanding,” particularly for his “ability to merge top-shelf lawyerly advice with pragmatic business acumen.” He is highly respected in the industry, with other commentators lauding him as a “phenomenal strategist” and “one of the top employment litigators in the country.”

“Tony is the author of the treatise titled Employment Discrimination Depositions (Juris Pub’g 2020;, co-author of Proskauer on Privacy (PLI 2020), and, since 1990, has been a regular columnist for the official publication of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

Tony has been a featured guest on Fox 11 News and CBS News in Los Angeles. He has been interviewed and quoted by leading national media outlets such as The National Law JournalBloomberg News, The New York Times, and Newsweek and Time magazines. Tony is a frequent speaker on employment law topics for large and small groups of employers and their counsel, including the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), PIHRA, the National CLE Conference, National Business Institute, the Employment Round Table of Southern California (Board Member), the Council on Education in Management, the Institute for Corporate Counsel, the State Bar of California, the California Continuing Education of the Bar Program and the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Bar Associations. He has testified as an expert witness regarding wage and hour issues as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and has served as a faculty member of the National Employment Law Institute. He has served as an arbitrator in an employment discrimination matter.

Tony is an appointed Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission Board of Rights and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law and a guest lecturer at USC Law School and a guest lecturer at UCLA Law School.