Raines v. U.S. Healthworks Med. Group, 2023 WL 5341067 (Cal. S. Ct. 2023)
The Ninth Circuit certified to the California Supreme Court the question of whether FEHA’s definition of “employer” extends to corporate agents of the employer such as a company that conducts preemployment medical screenings. In this putative class action, plaintiffs allege that their employment offers were conditioned upon their completion of pre-employment medical tests conducted by U.S. Healthworks Medical Group (USHW). They further allege that during the screenings, USHW asked intrusive and illegal questions unrelated to the applicants’ ability to work, including whether the applicants had cancer, mental illnesses, HIV or problems with menstrual periods. The applicants asserted FEHA claims against the prospective employers that used USHW to conduct the medical screenings and USHW itself as an “agent” of the employers. In this opinion, the Court examined FEHA’s definition of “employer” and concluded the definition encompasses third-party corporate agents such as USHW.