California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: FEHA

“A Motivating Reason” Jury Instruction Is Upheld In Pregnancy Discrimination Case

Alamo v. Practice Mgmt. Info. Corp., 2012 WL 4450066 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Lorena Alamo sued her former employer Practice Management Information Corp. (“PMIC”) for pregnancy discrimination and retaliation in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) and wrongful termination in violation of public policy. Alamo was terminated for poor work performance … Continue Reading

California Increases Protection of Religious Expression in the Workplace

Effective January 1, 2013, California employers will be required to accommodate their employees’ religious dress and grooming practices. Governor Brown has signed into law the “Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2012” (authored by Assemblymember Mariko Yamada (D-Davis)), which specifies that religious dress and grooming practices shall be considered a protected religious observance under the California … Continue Reading

LAPD Officer’s $2.1 Million Jury Award For Retaliation Is Reversed

Joaquin v. City of Los Angeles, 202 Cal. App. 4th 1207 (2012) Richard Joaquin alleged his employment as an LAPD officer was terminated in retaliation for his having filed a sexual harassment complaint against his supervisor, Sgt. James Sands. The case was tried to a jury and Joaquin was awarded more than $2.1 million in … Continue Reading

January 2012 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2012 California Employment Law Notes – a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Insurance Claims Adjusters May Be Exempt Administrative Employees Attorney Was Properly Denied Precertification Discovery To Find A New Class Representative Employee-Attorney’s $440,000 Verdict Against … 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

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

“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

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

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

Court Commissioner May Proceed With Age Discrimination Claim

DeJung v. Superior Court, 169 Cal. App. 4th 533 (2008) Theodore DeJung, a former part-time commissioner of the Sonoma County Superior Court, filed a lawsuit alleging age discrimination after he was not selected to become a full-time commissioner. Before DeJung’s application was denied (in favor of a 43 year old), the Court’s presiding judge told him that … Continue Reading

Statute Of Limitations Was Equitably Tolled While Employee Was Pursuing Administrative Remedy

McDonald v. Antelope Valley Cmty. Coll. Dist., 45 Cal. 4th 88 (2008) Plaintiffs in this case alleged racial harassment, discrimination and retaliation against the District. The trial court granted summary judgment to the employer with regard to Sylvia Brown’s claims on the ground they were barred by the statute of limitations applicable to claims asserted … 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

Physician’s Discrimination Claims Were Properly Dismissed

Johnson v. Riverside Healthcare Sys., 516 F.3d 759 (9th Cir. 2008) Christopher Lynn Johnson alleged he was discriminated against on the basis of his race and sexual orientation and asserted claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The district court granted defendants’ motion … Continue Reading

Social Worker Was An Employee Within The Meaning Of The FEHA And Was Sexually Harassed

Bradley v. California Dep’t of Corrections & Rehabilitation, 158 Cal. App. 4th 1612 (2008) Sallie Mae Bradley worked temporarily at a California prison as a licensed clinical social worker. Bradley sued the California Department of Corrections (“CDC”) for sexual harassment directed at her by the prison’s Muslim chaplain, Omar Shakir. The jury awarded her $300,000 … 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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