St. Myers v. Dignity Health, 44 Cal. App. 5th 301 (2019)

Carla St. Myers worked as a nurse practitioner at a rural clinic that was part of a medical center owned and operated by Dignity Health. During her three years of employment, St. Myers submitted over 50 complaints about working conditions at the facility and also was the subject of several investigations based upon anonymous complaints. Although the investigations concluded that the complaints against St. Myers were unsubstantiated, she found another job and resigned but then alleged in a lawsuit that her resignation was a constructive termination of her employment due to “intolerable working conditions.” St. Myers sued both Dignity Health and Optum360 Services (which provided revenue cycle services to Dignity Health). Dignity Health successfully moved for summary judgment in response to St. Myers’s claims on the ground that St. Myers could not establish an adverse employment action because she was never subject to a disciplinary write-up, suspended, demoted or terminated. Optum360 Services successfully moved for summary judgment on the ground that it was not a joint employer of St. Myers because it did not pay her salary or benefits, it did not own the equipment St. Myers used to perform her duties at the clinic and it did not have the authority to hire, transfer, demote, discipline or discharge St. Myers. The Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment in favor of each defendant.