California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: disability discrimination

January 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Manicurist Can Proceed With Hostile Work Environment Claim “Volunteers for Nonprofits Are Not Employees” – Court Affirms Order In Favor Of The American Film Institute … Continue Reading

Security Officer Can Proceed With Disability Discrimination And Wrongful Termination Claims, But Not Retaliation Claim

Zamora v. Security Indus. Specialists, Inc., 71 Cal. App. 5th 1 (2021) David Zamora sued his former employer, Security Industry Specialists, Inc. (“SIS”), for disability discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation. Eight days after he was hired, Zamora tripped over a curb at work and twisted his left knee. Zamora was later laid off as part … Continue Reading

Nurse’s Discrimination Claims Against Hospital Were Properly Dismissed

Wilkin v. Community Hosp. of the Monterey Peninsula, 71 Cal. App. 5th 806 (2021) Kimberly Wilkin worked as a registered nurse for the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula before the hospital terminated her employment following its discovery she had violated the hospital’s policies governing the handling and documentation of patient medications. After her termination, … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Jury Hands $155 Million Holiday Gift to Fired Insurance Executive

As we recently reported, California juries continue to award massive verdicts to employees with alarming regularity.  And, just in time for the holidays, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury upped the ante on Thursday, handing a fired insurance company executive a verdict totaling $155.4 million – including $150 million in punitive damages. Plaintiff Andrew Rudnicki worked … Continue Reading

November 2018 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2018 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employee Non-Solicitation Provision Was An Unenforceable Restraint Employer Was Not Liable For Accident Involving Employee Who Was Talking On Her Cell Phone Injured Employee May Have Been … Continue Reading

Community College District Failed To Reasonably Accommodate Disabled Employee

Hernandez v. Rancho Santiago Cmty. Coll. Dist., 2018 WL 2057468 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Marisa Hernandez worked on and off as an assistant for the District for a number of years without any complaints about her performance. Eight months into her 12-month probationary period (after which point she would become a “permanent employee”), Hernandez took … Continue Reading

Unsuccessful Disability Discrimination Plaintiff Is Not Entitled To Attorney’s Fees

Bustos v. Global P.E.T., Inc., 19 Cal. App. 5th 558 (2017) William Bustos sued his former employer for disability discrimination. A jury determined that Bustos’ actual or perceived physical condition was a substantial motivating reason for his termination, but nevertheless returned defense verdicts on all of his claims. After the trial, Bustos sought an award … Continue Reading

It’s Time to Think About Arbitration Agreements Again Following Recent $15 Million+ Employee Verdicts

Jury panels in the Los Angeles Superior Court (which is often referred to as “The Bank” by the plaintiffs’ bar) have recently delivered multimillion-dollar verdicts to former-employee plaintiffs.  Many employers doing business in California already have insulated themselves from such disasters by adopting comprehensive arbitration regimes, which would require that such cases be heard by a retired … Continue Reading

Employee Could Proceed With Wrongful Termination Claim Based Upon Work-Related Injury

Prue v. Brady Co./San Diego, Inc., 196 Cal. Rptr. 3d 68 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) Adam Prue alleged wrongful termination of his employment based upon a work related injury, which violated the public policy set forth in Labor Code § 132a. The trial court granted the employer’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds that … Continue Reading

Employee’s Inability To Work For A Particular Supervisor Does Not Constitute A “Disability”

Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Med. Found., 237 Cal. App. 4th 78 (2015) Michaelin Higgins-Williams worked as a clinical assistant in Sutter’s Shared Services Department. Higgins-Williams reported to her treating physician that she was stressed because of interactions at work with human resources and her manager. Her physician diagnosed Higgins-Williams with “adjustment disorder with anxiety,” and Sutter … Continue Reading

University Professor Was Properly Terminated For Refusing Fitness-For-Duty Exam

Kao v. The University of San Francisco, 229 Cal. App. 4th 437 (2014) Dr. John S. Kao was a tenured professor at USF who submitted a 485-page complaint (plus a 41-page addendum) to the university alleging race-based discrimination and harassment at the school. Kao was not satisfied with the university’s two-page response, which he said … Continue Reading

Police Officer’s ADHD Was Not a Disability Within The Meaning of the ADA

Weaving v. City of Hillsboro, 2014 WL 3973411 (9th Cir. 2014) Matthew Weaving worked as a police officer for the City of Hillsboro for approximately three years before his employment was terminated due to “severe interpersonal problems” between him and other employees of the police department.  Weaving contended that his interpersonal problems resulted from his … Continue Reading

Store Manager’s Disability And Harassment Claims Were Properly Dismissed

Lawler v. Montblanc N. Am., LLC, 704 F.3d 1235 (9th Cir. 2013) Cynthia Lawler alleged disability discrimination, harassment, retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”) associated with the termination of her employment. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Montblanc, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Montblanc had … Continue Reading

Police Officer Who Had Heart Attack Could Not Perform Essential Functions Of Administrative Job

Lui v. City and County of San Francisco, 211 Cal. App. 4th 962 (2012) After suffering a major heart attack, Kenneth Lui retired from his position as a police officer with the San Francisco Police Department. After the Department informed him there were no administrative positions available that did not require him to perform the … Continue Reading

March 2012 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2012 California Employment Law Notes – a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Teacher/Minister’s Disability Discrimination Claim Is Barred By The First Amendment Community College Employee Is Entitled To New Trial On Whistleblower Claims LAPD Officer’s $2.1 … Continue Reading

Employee With Bipolar Disorder Who Threatened Co-Workers Was Not Discriminated Against On The Basis Of Her Disability

Wills v. Superior Court, 194 Cal. App. 4th 312 (2011) Linda Wills, who worked as a clerk for the Orange County Superior Court, was terminated from her employment after she told co-workers she was going to add them to her “Kill Bill” list and forwarded a cell phone ringtone to several people, including a co-worker, … Continue Reading

Termination Of Disabled Employee Did Not Violate FEHA

Milan v. City of Holtville, 186 Cal. App. 4th 1028 (2010) Tanya Milan, who worked as a water treatment operator for the City of Holtville, was injured on the job while moving a large piece of metal. After Milan applied for workers’ compensation benefits, a physician who had been retained on behalf of the city, … Continue Reading

June 23, 2010 MCLE Telephonic Employment Law Seminar

On Wednesday, June 23, 2010, I will be speaking at the 2010 Employment Law Update telephonic conference sponsored by CEB.  It is always a lively and informative program, and I encourage you to enroll.  The program runs from 1:00 p.m. to 2 p.m. (Pacific).  One hour of MCLE credit is available. Details after the break.… Continue Reading

Disabled Employee May Have Been Able To Perform Essential Functions Of A Different Job

Nadaf-Rahrov v. Neiman Marcus Group, Inc., 166 Cal. App. 4th 952 (2008) Forough Nadaf-Rahrov worked as a clothes fitter for Neiman Marcus in Dallas before transferring to San Francisco in the mid- 1990s. She suffered from recurrent back and joint pain and was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and osteoarthritis. In November 2003, she commenced … Continue Reading

Catering Employee Could Proceed With Family Leave Claim, But Not Disability Claim

Avila v. Continental Airlines, Inc., 165 Cal. App. 4th 1237 (2008) Henry Avila sued his employer, Chelsea Food Services (a division of Continental Airlines), following his termination for excessive absences from work. Avila sued for disability discrimination and for violation of his rights under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”). The trial court granted summary … Continue Reading

Employee Who Reported Disability During Investigation Into His Alleged Wrongdoing Was Not Discriminated Against

Arteaga v. Brink’s, Inc., 163 Cal. App. 4th 327 (2008) Brink’s employee Carlos Arteaga was the subject of an internal investigation into various shortages totaling $7,668 that occurred while he was acting in his capacity as an ATM messenger. The investigation was conducted after one of Arteaga’s managers noticed there had been 16 shortages in … Continue Reading

Marijuana Compassionate Use Act Did Not Protect Employee From Termination

Ross v. Ragingwire Telecommunications, Inc., 42 Cal. 4th 920 (2008) In accordance with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Proposition 215), Gary Ross had a physician’s recommendation to use marijuana for his chronic back pain. Ragingwire offered Ross a job as a lead systems administrator subject to his passing a drug test, which he failed … Continue Reading
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