Tag Archives: Discrimination

Obesity Discrimination Claims Allowed to Proceed Under California Law

Is obesity a disability under California law? Are a supervisor’s alleged “fat remarks” sufficient evidence of disability discrimination?  On December 21, 2017, a California Appellate Court published an extensive decision regarding obesity as a disability under California law and issued further guidance on both counts.  To read the rest of this blog, please visit this post on … Continue Reading

New California Regulations on Workplace Anti-Harassment, Anti-Discrimination Policies Effective April 1

New California regulations declaring that “[e]mployers have an affirmative duty to create a workplace environment that is free from employment practices prohibited by” the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and that “[e]mployers have an affirmative duty to take reasonable steps to prevent and promptly correct discriminatory and harassing conduct” will go into effect on … Continue Reading

Reversing $1 Million Judgment against Los Angeles, the California Court of Appeals Ruled Continuing Violation Doctrine did not apply to Firefighter’s Decades-Old Race Discrimination and Harassment Claims

The California Court of Appeal reversed a $1 million judgment against the City of Los Angeles in a racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation case brought by a firefighter under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Jumaane v. City of Los Angeles. After 12 years of litigation and two jury trials, the Court ruled that … Continue Reading

An Employee’s Request for a Disability or Religious Accommodation Is Considered Protected Activity Under Change to the Fair Employment and Housing Act

Effective January 1, 2016, an employee’s request for an accommodation for a disability or for religious reasons is considered to be “protected activity” for a retaliation claim under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).… Continue Reading

“No Re-Hire” Clauses May Be Unlawful Restraints of Trade

When settling employment disputes, employers and employees often seek to go their separate ways and avoid crossing paths in the future.  Settlement agreements often include a “No Re-Hire” clause in which employees agree they will not be eligible for re-hire; however, what happens when a former employee challenges the “no re-hire” clause as an unlawful … Continue Reading

Be Careful What You Say—It Might End Up in a Declaration to Defeat Summary Judgment

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed summary judgment for an employer, finding that a former employee’s self-serving declaration and deposition testimony regarding alleged disability discrimination were sufficient to create a triable issue of fact. The Ninth Circuit also held the employer’s denial of the accommodation the employee requested “chilled” the exercise of the … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court Affirms that Employee Signature Acknowledging Clear Arbitration Policy Makes Policy Binding

In a recent opinion affirming an arbitrator’s judgment in favor of an employer on various employment law claims, the California Court of Appeal held that an employee agreed to arbitrate all claims against her former employee when she signed an arbitration policy contained in an easy-to-read document distinct from any other document the she signed … Continue Reading

No Employer Liability If There is No Actionable Harassment or Discrimination, California Court Rules

An employer cannot be held liable for failure to prevent sexual harassment under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) if there is no actionable sexual harassment, the California Court of Appeal has ruled. Dickson v. Burke Williams, Inc., No. B253154 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 6, 2015). Likewise, a jury’s finding that an employer … Continue Reading

Removing Essential Job Functions Not Reasonable Disability Accommodation Under California Law, Court Rules

Affirming summary judgment in favor of an employer on an employee’s disability discrimination claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), the California Court of Appeal has ruled that the employer was not required to eliminate essential functions of a position as a reasonable accommodation. Nealy v. City of Santa Monica, No. B246634 … Continue Reading

Reasonable Accommodation’s Mandate in Employment Statute Does Not Require Employer to Cut Essential Job Functions

On January 21, 2015, a California Appeals Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling in Nealy v. City of Santa Monica, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 139 (February 13, 2015) granting summary judgment for the City of Santa Monica (“City”) on claims of disability discrimination, failure to provide reasonable accommodation, failure to engage in the interactive process, … Continue Reading

California Law Protects Unpaid Interns and Volunteers from Harassment and Discrimination

California has become the third state in the country, after New York and Oregon, to ban sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace directed toward unpaid interns. The new law (AB 1443) extends workplace harassment and discrimination protections under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) to unpaid interns, volunteers, and individuals in apprenticeship … Continue Reading

Undocumented Worker Not Barred from Asserting Discrimination Claims

In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., No. S196568 (Cal. June 26, 2014), the California Supreme Court has ruled that federal immigration law did not preempt California law extending employee protections and remedies “regardless of immigration status,” except to the extent it authorized damages for any period after the employer’s discovery of an employee’s ineligibility to … Continue Reading

“Fairly Lenient Standard” Typically Results in Conditional Certification of FLSA Collective Actions

On May 22, 2014, a California District Court conditionally certified a nationwide collective action covering about 1,500 female employees of Daiichi Sankyo Inc. (“DSI”) who allege the drug company paid them less than their male peers, ruling that the plaintiffs had met the low evidentiary burden to move forward collectively. In SARA WELLENS, et al., … Continue Reading

Proposed Amendment to California’s Government Code Addresses Workplace Bullying; Would Require New Training on Abusive Conduct

On May 15, 2014, the California Assembly passed a proposed amendment to California’s statute governing sexual harassment training. Currently, the statute requires employers with 50 or more employees to ensure workplaces are free of sexual harassment by providing training to their supervisory employees at least once every two years.  Such training must include information regarding … Continue Reading

10 Rules of Startup Employment Labor Law

Originally posted by SmartRecruiters Blog, the leading source for how to hire on the web. To view the original post, please click here. So you’re a startup. You’ve decided to take your world-changing idea and move it out of your dorm room/garage/favorite-table-at-Starbucks and start a legitimate business. So what next? If you plan on staying … Continue Reading

Shift-Based Discrimination May Support Race-Based Animus in Hostile Work Environment Claims

On April 30, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reinstated a lawsuit filed by Plaintiff Ronald El-Malik Curtis against the City of Oakland, and several individual city officials on the ground that facially-neutral conduct could support a finding of racial animus sufficient to sustain a hostile work environment claim when … Continue Reading

Organ Donor’s Association-Disability Discrimination Claim Can Proceed, California Court Rules

Timing is not everything. In Rope v. Auto-Chlor of Washington System of Washington, Inc., the employer fired an employee for purported performance reasons on December 30, 2010 – two days before California’s Michelle Malkin Donor Protection Act became effective.   The timing was significant because when the employee was hired in October of 2010, he had told … Continue Reading

Protected Status for Veterans

On October 10, 2013, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill, A.B. 556, to add “military and veteran status” to the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). When this bill becomes operative on January 1, 2014, the FEHA will prohibit harassment and discrimination in employment … Continue Reading

We’ll always have Harris

In Harris v. City of Santa Monica, 56 Cal. 4th 203 (Cal. 2013), the California Supreme Court ruled that, to prevail in a mixed motive employment discrimination action, the employee must show that unlawful discrimination was a substantial factor motivating the adverse employment decision.  Further, in mixed motive cases, if the employer proves that it … Continue Reading

When Close isn’t Close Enough – Appeals Court Rejects ‘Me Too’ Evidence in Discrimination Case

Employees often attempt to prove discrimination by offering evidence that other, similar employees were subject to the same treatment, often referred to as “me too” evidence. The California Court of Appeal rejected an employee’s attempt to use “me too” evidence when the employee sought to introduce evidence showing how employees outside his protected class were … Continue Reading

Discrimination as a Substantial Motivating Factor in Mixed Motive Cases

A positive development for employers. To establish liability in “mixed motive” employment discrimination cases under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the employee must show that unlawful discrimination was a substantial factor motivating the adverse employment decision, the California Supreme Court ruled. Harris v. City of Santa Monica, No. S181004 (Cal. Feb. 7, … Continue Reading

California Court Of Appeal Rules Refusal To Cooperate With Company Investigation or Giving False Information To Company Investigator Is Not Protected By FEHA

 A California court of appeal has recently ruled that an employee is not protected by the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) for refusing to participate in or cooperate with a Company investigation into misconduct. McGrory v. Applied Signal Tech., Inc., (Cal Ct. App. No. H036597, 1/24/2013). In McGrory, California’s Sixth Appellate District rejected an … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Rules A Labor Code Section 132a Violation Is Not a Proper Public Policy Basis for A Wrongful Termination Claim

California’s Third Appellate District has held that a violation of Labor Code section 132a cannot support a common law claim of wrongful termination in violation of public policy. In general terms, Labor Code section 132a states an employer may not discriminate against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim or for having a work … Continue Reading

Religious Dress and Grooming Practices Qualify As Religious Belief Or Observance Under The Fair Employment & Housing Act

The California Governor signed into law AB 1964 which amends the Fair Employment & Housing Act (“FEHA”) to prohibit discrimination against individuals for the wearing of religious dress or the practice of religious grooming in the workplace. The FEHA already prohibits discrimination against “religious belief” or “observance.” However, the new amendment expressly states that religious dress … Continue Reading
LexBlog