Lin v. Kaiser Found. Hosps., 2023 WL 2202544 (Cal. Ct. App. 2023)

Suchin Lin received favorable performance evaluations as an IT Engineer at Kaiser before the decision was made to eliminate her position. Before Lin was informed of the elimination of her position, she fell in the workplace and suffered an injury to her shoulder, which resulted in her doctor placing her on modified duty. Thereafter, Lin’s supervisor judged her performance more harshly in comparison to that of her teammates at Kaiser. After her employment was terminated, Lin filed this lawsuit against Kaiser, alleging disability discrimination and related claims. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Kaiser, but the Court of Appeal reversed, holding that although Kaiser had tentatively placed Lin on the termination list before becoming aware of her disability, it did not terminate her employment until after it was aware of her disability. The Court concluded that a reasonable jury could find that the negative evaluations Lin had received and her ultimate termination were substantially motivated by her disability.