Tag Archives: FEHA

U.S. Supreme Court narrows definition of “supervisor” for Title VII purposes. Will California courts follow?

In Vance v. Ball State University, No. 11-556 (June 24, 2013), the United States Supreme Court defined “supervisory” authority under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1962 as requiring the power to make “a significant change in employment status, such as hiring, firing, failing to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, or a … 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

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

Termination for Misconduct Involving Violent Acts or Threats of Violence Caused by a Disability Was Found to Be Lawful

A recent California Appellate Court upheld an employer’s right to terminate an employee for misconduct involving violent acts or threats of violence even if caused by a disability under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). In Wills v. Superior Court., No. G043054 (4th Appellate District April 13, 2011), the Court dismissed the employee’s … Continue Reading

Recent Developments Involving Systemic Discrimination

California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) Director Phyllis W. Cheng, speaking at the Jackson Lewis LLP-sponsored Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Labor and Employment Committee Meeting on Feb. 22, 2011, told the gathering of business lawyers that the agency would continue to pursue high-impact cases of “systemic discrimination” under the Fair Employment and … Continue Reading

The Statute of Limitations for a Fair Employment & Housing Act Claim Begins to Toll When the Right-To-Sue Notice is Issued

As a perquisite to file a civil lawsuit under the California Fair Employment & Housing Act ("FEHA"), a current or former employee must file a charge of discrimination with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing ("DFEH") within one year of the alleged adverse act. Gov’t Code § 12960(c). If the DFEH chooses not to … Continue Reading

Statistical Evidence and Disparate Impact Claims – A Divided Ninth Circuit Rules Regarding Applicable Proof under the ADA and the California FEHA

A divided panel of judges at the Ninth Circuit held a plaintiff must demonstrate some statistically significant evidence in support of his or her disparate impact claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, even though such evidence may be very difficult to obtain. Lopez v. Pacific Maritime … Continue Reading