California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: discrimination

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

Statute Of Limitations For State Law Claims Was Suspended While Case Was Pending In Federal Court

Artis v. District of Columbia, 583 U.S. ___, 138 S. Ct. 594 (2018) Stephanie Artis filed a Title VII employment discrimination case against her employer, the District of Columbia, which was eventually dismissed on summary judgment by the district court; the district court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state-law claims that were … Continue Reading

“Inclusion Riders” On The Storm

  Last night, Oscar-winner Frances McDormand ended her acceptance speech  with a reference to two words – “Inclusion Rider” – that sent many Oscar viewers scrambling to Google her cryptic message. But the term, and its legal implications, are somewhat more complicated than several news and entertainment outlets are reporting today. The term “inclusion rider” … Continue Reading

California Assembly Approves Measure Requiring Single-Occupancy Restrooms to Be Designated “All Gender”

The California Assembly has voted to approve A.B. 1732, which would require all single-occupancy restrooms in any business, public accommodation, or government agency to be branded as “all gender” and ban any single-user bathroom from being designated male- or female-only.  The bill also authorizes building inspectors or other local officials responsible for code enforcement to … Continue Reading

Department of Corrections Did Not Discriminate Against Male Applicants By Hiring Female Guards In Women’s Prisons (Orange Really Is The New Black!)

Teamsters Local Union No. 117 v. Washington Dep’t of Corrections, 2015 WL 3634711 (9th Cir. 2015) In the face of repeated instances of sexual abuse and misconduct by prison guards in its women’s prisons, the state of Washington determined that a primary driver was the lack of female correctional officers to oversee female offenders and … Continue Reading

Employee Who Was Working Elsewhere During Medical Leave Of Absence Was Properly Terminated

Richey v. AutoNation, Inc., 182 Cal. Rptr. 3d 644 (Cal. S. Ct. 2015) Avery Richey worked for Power Toyota Cerritos, part of the AutoNation consortium of automobile dealerships, for approximately four years before allegedly injuring his back while moving furniture at his home. Following the injury, Richey applied for and was granted a medical leave … Continue Reading

“Unauthorized Alien” Who Provided False SSN Can Proceed With Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Salas v. Sierra Chem. Co., 2014 WL 2883878 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) Vicente Salas worked on Sierra Chemical’s production line, filling containers with various chemicals. At the time of his hire, Salas provided Sierra with a resident alien card and a Social Security card and signed an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 Form). After allegedly … Continue Reading

California Senate Bill 404 Would Add Legal Protection for Employees Who Provide Medical or Supervisory Care to Family Members

California employers are well-advised to keep an eye on Senate Bill 404, a proposed amendment to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), California’s primary anti-employment discrimination law.  If enacted, SB 404 would add another category to the already lengthy list of protected characteristics under the FEHA – “familial status,” which is defined as “an … Continue Reading

Wrongful Termination Claim Based Upon Workers’ Compensation Filing Was Properly Dismissed

Dutra v. Mercy Med. Ctr. Mt. Shasta, 209 Cal. App. 4th 750 (2012) Michelle Dutra sued Mercy Medical Center for wrongful termination in violation of public policy based upon Cal. Labor Code § 132a (prohibiting discrimination against an employee who has filed a workers’ compensation claim). After a jury was selected, the trial court granted … Continue Reading

House Passes Appropriation Bill That Limits EEOC’s Implementation of Stringent Enforcement Guidelines Regarding Criminal Screening Policies

 The EEOC’s recent enforcement guidance regarding employers’ use of criminal histories in employment decisions (the “Guidance”) appears to have one more foe: the U.S. House of Representatives. On May 10, 2012, the House passed an appropriation bill that would prohibit the use of EEOC funds for implementing, administering, or enforcing the Guidance. This prohibition echoes … Continue Reading

Ministerial Exception Barred School Employee’s Wrongful Termination Claims Against Church

Henry v. Red Hill Evangelical Lutheran Church, 201 Cal. App. 4th 1041 (2011) Sara Henry taught preschool children at the Red Hill Evangelical Church of Tustin; she was also the director of the preschool. Henry, who is Catholic, was not required to be Lutheran (only a practicing Christian) and was aware of the “Christian-based, Bible-based … Continue Reading

Teacher With Expired Teaching Certificate Was Not “Qualified” Within The Meaning Of The ADA

Johnson v. Board of Trustees, 2011 WL 6091313 (9th Cir. 2011) Patricia Johnson, who had a history of depression and bipolar disorder, taught special education for a school district in Idaho for a decade. Before her teaching certificate expired in 2007, Johnson failed to take sufficient college courses to obtain a renewal of the certificate … Continue Reading

Supervisors Cannot Be Held Individually Liable For Military Leave Discrimination/Retaliation

Haligowski v. Superior Court, 200 Cal. App. 4th 983 (2011) While employed by Safway Services, Inc., Lieutenant Mario Pantuso was called to active duty with the United States Navy. When Pantuso returned from his six-month deployment in Iraq and asked for his job back, his immediate supervisor and the regional manager informed him that he … Continue Reading

September 2011 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly posted September 2011 California Employment Law Notes — a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law.  The highlights include: Employee Who Provided False SSN and Other Information Was Barred from Suing for Disability Discrimination Employer Did Not Violate CFRA by Transferring Employee upon Her … Continue Reading

“Me Too” Evidence Was Relevant to and Admissible in Discrimination Lawsuit

Pantoja v. Anton, 198 Cal. App. 4th 87 (2011) Lorraine Pantoja sued attorney Thomas J. Anton and his firm for wrongful termination, violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), battery, sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. By the time of the trial, only the FEHA claims remained. In their motions in … Continue Reading

New Trial Ordered In Police Officer’s Case Alleging Discrimination and Retaliation

Grobeson v. City of Los Angeles, 190 Cal.App.4th 778 (2010) A jury rejected Mitchell Grobeson’s claims against the City of Los Angeles and Daniel Watson for alleged unlawful discrimination, harassment, retaliation and constructive discharge. The trial court granted Grobeson’s motion for a new trial based on juror misconduct, and the Court of Appeal affirmed except … Continue Reading

City Violated Title VII By Discarding Results Of Test That Disparately Impacted Minorities

Ricci v. DeStefano, 557 U.S. ___, 129 S. Ct. 2658 (2009) One hundred eighteen firefighters took written examinations administered by the city of New Haven, Connecticut in order to qualify for promotion to the rank of lieutenant or captain. When the examination results showed that white candidates had outperformed minority candidates, the mayor and other … Continue Reading

County Did Not Discriminate Against Employee With Rare Blood Disease

Wilson v. County of Orange, 169 Cal. App. 4th 1185 (2009) Julie Ann Wilson worked as a radio dispatcher for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s emergency communications system. Wilson sued the County for disability discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) on the ground that it allegedly had failed to make reasonable accommodation … Continue Reading

Employee Who Was Interviewed During Internal Investigation Was Protected From Retaliation

Crawford v. Metropolitan Gov’t of Nashville & Davidson County, 555 U.S. 271 (2009) Vicky Crawford was interviewed during the course of an investigation into “rumors of sexual harassment” involving the Metro School District’s employee relations director, Gene Hughes. Crawford described several instances of sexually harassing behavior that Hughes allegedly directed at her; two other employees … Continue Reading

Employee May Proceed With Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claim

Dominguez v. Washington Mut. Bank, 168 Cal. App. 4th 714 (2008) Yoko Dominguez, a former temporary employee of Washington Mutual assigned to processing outgoing mail, alleged that a co-worker (Javier Gutierrez) had made crude and offensive comments to her after learning that Dominguez was a lesbian. Dominguez complained about Gutierrez’s comments to her supervisor’s supervisor … Continue Reading

Employer Waived Insurance Coverage By Failing To Timely Notify Carrier Of Claim

Westrec Marina Mgmt., Inc. v. Arrowood Indemn. Co., 163 Cal. App. 4th 1387 (2008) Westrec sued its insurance carrier, Arrowood, after the carrier refused to provide a defense to an employment discrimination lawsuit on the ground that Westrec had failed to timely report the third-party claim as required under the terms of two successive directors … Continue Reading
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