California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: Title VII

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

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

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

Section 1981 Claim Is Subject to Four-Year Statute of Limitations

Johnson v. Lucent Techs. Inc., 653 F.3d 1000 (2011) In 2008, Russell H. Johnson, III, an African-American, sued Lucent and the administrator of his disability insurance benefits for retaliation in violation of Title VII, violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and intentional infliction of emotional distress in retaliation for his filing suit against Lucent in … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Tightens Class Action Rules, Rejecting Class Composed of 1.5 Million Wal-Mart Employees

In Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, No. 10-277 (U.S. June 20, 2011), the Supreme Court vacated class certification of a gender discrimination lawsuit brought by 1.5 million current and former Wal-Mart employees because the plaintiffs failed to identify a specific, company-wide policy or practice of discrimination. Additionally, the Court held unanimously that the employees’ backpay claims … Continue Reading

Gay Employee Could Proceed With Retaliation But Not Harassment Claim Under Title VII

Dawson v. Entek Int’l, 630 F.3d 928 (9th Cir. 2011) Shane Dawson, a former temporary production line worker for Entek, ran a production line that rolled up battery separators. Dawson, who is gay, worked with 24 other male employees. Dawson’s employment was terminated two days after he had complained to human resources that he was … Continue Reading

Fire Dep’t Applicants’ Title VII Challenge Was Not Barred By Statute Of Limitations

 Lewis v. City of Chicago, 560 U.S. ___, 130 S. Ct. 2191 (2010) Plaintiffs in this case (more than 6,000 African-Americans) had applied to serve in the Chicago Fire Department. They challenged as discriminatory the city’s decision to hire only applicants who had scored 89 or above on a written examination. The city stipulated that … Continue Reading

College Professor’s Racially Charged E-Mails Did Not Create Hostile Environment

Rodriguez v. Maricopa County Cmty. Coll., 605 F.3d 703 (9th Cir. 2010) Professor Walter Kehowski sent three racially-charged emails over a distribution list maintained by the college district where he teaches math. Every district employee with an email address received Kehowski’s messages, including plaintiffs in this case – a certified class of the district’s Hispanic … Continue Reading

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

Ricci v. DeStefano, 557 U.S. 557, 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 local … 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

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

UPS May Not Have Violated The ADA By Excluding Deaf Drivers Who Failed To Satisfy DOT Hearing Standard

Bates v. United Parcel Serv., 511 F.3d 974 (9th Cir. 2007) (en banc) One of the requirements applied by UPS to those applicants seeking to drive the familiar brown “package cars” was that they pass the physical examination (including a hearing exam) that the DOT requires of drivers of commercial vehicles of a gross vehicle weight … Continue Reading

Rejected Applicant’s ADA And Title VII Claims Were Properly Dismissed

Nilsson v. City of Mesa, 503 F.3d 947 (9th Cir. 2007) Christine Nilsson applied for a position as a police officer with the City of Mesa, Arizona. In conjunction with her application, Nilsson signed a waiver of any and all claims against the police department. During the application process, Nilsson disclosed that she had been involved … Continue Reading

Discrimination, Retaliation Claims Under Title VII Were Untimely Filed

Payan v. Aramark Mgmt. Services Ltd. P’ship, 495 F.3d 1119 (9th Cir. 2007) In response to a charge of discrimination and retaliation that Martha E. Payan filed with the EEOC, the agency issued a right-to-sue letter on September 26, 2003. Payan asserted that the date she received the letter was “unknown.” However, it was undisputed that … Continue Reading

Court Affirms Certification Of Class Consisting Of 1.5 Million Female Wal-Mart Employees

Dukes v. Wal-Mart, Inc., 474 F.3d 1214 (9th Cir. 2007) Plaintiffs in this Title VII class-action lawsuit alleged that women employed in Wal-Mart stores are paid less than men in comparable positions, despite having higher performance ratings and greater seniority, receive fewer promotions to instore management positions, and that those who are promoted must wait … Continue Reading

Major League Baseball Did Not Violate Title VII By Providing Benefits To Former Negro League Players

Moran v. Selig, 447 F.3d 748 (9th Cir. 2006) Seeking to make partial amends for its exclusion of African-American baseball players prior to 1947 (when Jackie Robinson “broke the color barrier”), MLB voluntarily decided to provide certain benefits, including medical coverage and a supplemental income plan, to qualifying African-Americans players who had been in the … Continue Reading

Employee Failed To Establish Retaliation For Filing Race Discrimination Complaint

McRae v. Dep’t of Corrections, 127 Cal. App. 4th 779 (2005) Dr. Margie McRae filed a lawsuit against her employer, the California Department of Corrections, and four individual defendants, seeking damages for discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The trial court granted summary judgment to the four individual … Continue Reading

Court Certifies Class Action Consisting Of 1.5 Million Female Wal-Mart Employees

Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 222 F.R.D. 137 (N.D. Cal. 2004) (Jenkins, J.) Plaintiffs in this Title VII class-action lawsuit alleged that women employed in Wal-Mart stores are paid less than men in comparable positions, despite having higher performance ratings and greater seniority, receive fewer promotions to in-store management positions, and those who are promoted … Continue Reading

Employer Could Not Inquire Into Plaintiffs’ Immigration Status In Title VII Lawsuit

Rivera v. NIBCO, Inc., 364 F.3d 1057 (9th Cir. 2004) Twenty-three Latina and Southeast Asian female immigrants had been employed at NIBCO’s factory in Fresno and were terminated following their poor performance on a basic job skills examination that was given in English. The employees alleged discrimination under Title VII and the California Fair Employment … Continue Reading

Social Worker States Public Policy Claim Against Religious Entity

Phillips v. St. Mary Regional Med. Ctr., 96 Cal. App. 4th 218 (2002) Plaintiff, a former social worker for St. Mary, a nonprofit, religiously-affiliated hospital, alleged wrongful termination in violation of the public policy against race and sex discrimination as embodied in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the California Constitution and Title … Continue Reading
LexBlog