California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: FEHA

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New Lawsuit Reminds Employers to Check Their Grooming Policies

A suit filed last week in San Diego Superior Court serves as a reminder to employers about the importance of keeping up-to-date on California’s evolving Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). In the new suit, an employee, Jeffrey Thornton, claims that he was discriminated against on the basis of his race when his former employer, … Continue Reading

Governor Newsom Signs A Slew of New Employment Laws for 2022

As the 2021 legislative season came to a close, Governor Gavin Newsom signed numerous bills into law. From arbitration to workplace safety, these laws will impact employers across the state.  We have summarized the most important ones for you here: Arbitration Arbitration fees will now need to be paid upon receipt of invoice unless the … Continue Reading

September 2021 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2021 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Ninth Circuit Rejects “Paramour Preference” Liability Arising From Supervisor’s Affair With Another Employee $3.5 Million Emotional Distress Award Was “Shockingly Disproportionate” To Evidence Of Harm … Continue Reading

Employer Must Prove Employee Knew Or Should Have Known Of Discriminatory Failure To Hire For Statute Of Limitations Bar To Apply

Pollock v. Tri-Modal Distrib. Servs., Inc., 11 Cal. 5th 918 (2021) Pamela Pollock, a customer service representative for Tri-Modal, alleged she was passed over for several promotions because she refused to have sex with Michael Kelso, Tri-Modal’s executive vice-president. Kelso initiated a dating relationship with Pollock in 2014, but the relationship ended in 2016 when … Continue Reading

March 2021 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2021 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Trial Court Properly Dismissed Employee’s CFRA And Disability Discrimination Claims LAUSD Teacher Can Proceed With Claim For Disability Allegedly Caused By School’s Wi-Fi System Supreme … Continue Reading

LAUSD Teacher Can Proceed With Claim For Disability Allegedly Caused By School’s Wi-Fi System

Brown v. Los Angeles Unified School Dist., 2021 WL 631030 (Cal. Ct. App. 2021) Laurie Brown, a teacher at Millikan Middle School, alleged she experienced chronic pain, which was allegedly caused by a new Wi-Fi system the school had installed.  Brown’s medical provider diagnosed her with “electromagnetic hypersensitivity sensitivity” (EHS).  Brown eventually quit, claiming she could … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Reverses $13 Million Gender Discrimination Verdict

Today, the California Court of Appeal reversed a blockbuster $13 million judgment that was entered against UCLA in favor of one of its former professors of medicine, Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown (see our coverage of the February 2018 verdict here).   Dr. Pinter-Brown sued for alleged gender discrimination and unlawful retaliation.  The appellate court determined that … Continue Reading

March 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Time Spent By Employees In Exit Searches Is Compensable Prior Pay Is Not A Defense To An Equal Pay Act Claim Constructive Termination And Joint … Continue Reading

Gay CHP Officer May Have Been Constructively Terminated

Brome v. California Highway Patrol, 44 Cal. App. 5th 786 (2020) Jay Brome sued the California Highway Patrol (“CHP”) after resigning as a law enforcement officer, claiming he had been subjected to harassment and discrimination because of his sexual orientation in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Brome provided evidence that his … Continue Reading

January 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Church Affiliate Is Exempt From FEHA Liability, But Liable for $1.9 Million On Other Theories Disability Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Claims Were Properly Dismissed Employer That … Continue Reading

Church Affiliate Is Exempt From FEHA Liability, But Liable for $1.9 Million On Other Theories

Mathews v. Happy Valley Conference Ctr., 2019 WL 6769659 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) Jeremiah Mathews worked as a maintenance supervisor and cook for Happy Valley Conference Center, which is a subordinate affiliate of Community of Christ (a church). Mathews alleged his employment was terminated in retaliation for his having reported harassment of a younger male … Continue Reading

November 2019 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2019 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Court Upholds Whistleblower Verdicts In Favor Of Fired Parking Ticket Hearing Examiners College Professor Was Retaliated Against For Complaining About Hostile Environment Discriminatory Failure-To-Hire Claim Must … Continue Reading

Employer May Have FEHA Liability If It Exercised Direction/Control Over Temp Worker

Jimenez v. U.S. Continental Mktg., Inc., 2019 WL 5257938 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) Elvia Velasco Jimenez asserted claims under the FEHA against her “contracting employer,” a manufacturing company named U.S. Continental Marketing Inc. (“USCM”) for which she performed services, and a “temporary-staffing agency” named Ameritemps. At trial, the jury agreed with USCM that it was … Continue Reading

California Enacts a Raft of New Employment Laws

On Thursday, October 10, 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law several new measures that employers will need to comply with by January 1, 2020 and that will generally make it easier for employees to sue their employers.  Specifically: AB 9 extends the statute of limitations period for employees to file claims of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Jury Awards $15.4 Million To Former LA Times Columnist

  Employers all over California are once again hearing the siren call of arbitration in the wake of a $15.4 million single-plaintiff verdict that a Los Angeles jury delivered to a former Los Angeles Times sports columnist on Monday.  T.J. Simers sued the paper for age and disability discrimination.  Simers quit his job in 2013 … Continue Reading

May 2019 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted May 2019 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Strict Independent Contractor Test Applies Retroactively; California Employee Is Compelled To Litigate His Employment Claims In Indiana; Employee Could Rely Upon Former Supervisor’s Statement About Existence Of Discrimination; … Continue Reading

California Employee Is Compelled To Litigate His Employment Claims In Indiana

Ryze Claim Solutions LLC v. Superior Court, 2019 WL 1467947 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) Jerome Nedd was employed by Ryze Claim Solutions in El Cerrito, California for almost three years before his employment was terminated, resulting in his filing claims against Ryze for wrongful termination and violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) … Continue Reading

March 2019 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2019 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Eddie Money Beats Discrimination Lawsuit Based On Free Speech Right; Former Accountant Could Proceed With Whistleblower Lawsuit; Employer Violated FCRA With Improper Background Check Notice; Fruit Growers May … Continue Reading

Eddie Money Beats Discrimination Lawsuit Based On Free Speech Right

Symmonds v. Mahoney, 31 Cal. App. 5th 1096 (2019) After 41 years, singer/songwriter Edward Joseph Mahoney (aka “Eddie Money”) terminated the employment of Glenn Symmonds (the band’s drummer) in response to which Symmonds filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination based on age, disability and medical condition in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act … Continue Reading

January 2019 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2019 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: School Teacher’s ADA Claim Against Catholic School Was Not Barred By “Ministerial Exception” City Attorney Should Not Have Been Disqualified From Representing City Prevailing Employer Should Not Have … Continue Reading

Prevailing Employer Should Not Have Been Awarded CCP § 998 Costs

Huerta v. Kava Holdings, Inc., 29 Cal. App. 5th 74 (2018) Felix Huerta sued Kava Holdings dba Hotel Bel-Air after the hotel terminated him and another restaurant server who was involved in an altercation during work. The trial court granted Kava’s motion for nonsuit as to Huerta’s claim for retaliation under the Fair Employment and … Continue Reading
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