California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Discrimination

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November 2023 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2023 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Company That Hired Competitor’s Employee Was Not Entitled To Arbitrate Claims Disability Discrimination Claim Was Properly Dismissed On Summary Judgment Employee’s Attorney’s “Pervasive Incivility” Justified … Continue Reading

Disability Discrimination Claim Was Properly Dismissed On Summary Judgment

Martin v. Board of Trustees of the Cal. State Univ., 2023 WL 7537694 (Cal. Ct. App. 2023) Following the termination of his employment as director of university communications at CSUN’s Marketing and Communications Department, Jorge Martin sued the university for race, gender and sexual orientation harassment and discrimination because he is a “middle-aged, light-skinned Mexican-American, … Continue Reading

Fire Chief Was Terminated For Misconduct Not Because Of His Religion

Hittle v. City of Stockton, 76 F.4th 877 (9th Cir. 2023) Ronald Hittle served as the City’s Fire Chief before he was fired (following an investigation by an outside investigator) because he lacked effectiveness and judgment in his ongoing leadership of the Fire Department; used City time and a City vehicle to attend a religious … Continue Reading

Arbitrator Correctly Enforced Release Agreement Executed By Employee

Castelo v. Xceed Fin. Credit Union, 91 Cal. App. 5th 777 (2023) Elizabeth Castelo sued her former employer Xceed Financial Credit Union for wrongful termination and age discrimination in violation of FEHA.  After the parties stipulated to binding arbitration, the arbitrator granted summary judgment to Xceed based on a release that Castelo signed after she … Continue Reading

School District Employer Did Not Violate The Law By Requiring COVID Vaccination/Weekly Testing

Rossi v. Sequoia Union Elementary Sch., 2023 WL 5498732 (Cal. Ct. App. 2023) Pursuant to the State Public Health Officer Order of August 11, 2021, K-12 schools were required to verify the COVID-19 vaccination status of all school workers and to require proof of vaccination or weekly diagnostic screen testing.  Plaintiff Gloria Elizabeth Rossi, an … Continue Reading

July 2023 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted July 2023 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Enforcement of PAGA Carve Out Suggests Need For New Revisions To Arbitration Agreements PAGA Debt Not Dischargeable in Bankruptcy Distributors Not Liable For Unpaid Wages Of … Continue Reading

Employee Who Refused To Get Flu Vaccine Was Properly Terminated

Hodges v. Cedars-Sinai Med. Ctr., 91 Cal. App. 5th 894 (2023) Deanna Hodges, who worked for Cedars-Sinai as an administrative employee with no patient responsibilities, refused to get vaccinated for the flu, contrary to Cedars’ policy which required all of its employees to get vaccinated in an effort to limit employee transmission of the flu.  The … Continue Reading

The “Real Slim Shady’s” Days May Be Numbered (At Least in the Workplace)!

Fed up with hearing “very offensive” songs like Eminem’s “Stan” and Too $hort’s “B*job Betty” on the job, Stephanie Sharp and several other employees (including a male) filed a hostile work environment claim under Title VII against their employer.  Plaintiffs claimed they could not escape the music because it was “[b]lasted from commercial-strength speakers” that … Continue Reading

May 2023 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted May 2023 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Art Teacher’s Age Discrimination Case May Not Be Barred By “Ministerial Exception” Users May Have Privacy Interest In Emails Sent Over Company Network Absent Express … Continue Reading

Art Teacher’s Age Discrimination Case May Not Be Barred By “Ministerial Exception”

Atkins v. St. Cecilia Catholic Sch., 2023 WL 3142316 (Cal. Ct. App. 2023) Frances Atkins was a long-term employee of St. Cecilia Catholic School, and in her final year with the school, she worked part-time as an art teacher and office administrator.  Following the termination of her employment, Atkins sued the school for age discrimination in … Continue Reading

AI is Here and So Are the New AI Rules for Employers

California is considering a new law (Assembly Bill 331), also known as the Automated Decision Systems Accountability Act.  Modeled after the Biden Administration’s Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights (whitehouse.gov), AB 331 would control the use of machine-based systems in making “consequential” employment decisions such as compensation, promotions, hiring, termination, and automated task allocations. … Continue Reading

March 2023 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2023 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: No Claim By Employee Who Was Friends With Alleged Harasser Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit Was Properly Dismissed Employer That Failed To Layoff Employee Before She Became … Continue Reading

Employer That Failed To Layoff Employee Before She Became Disabled May Have Discriminated

Lin v. Kaiser Found. Hosps., 2023 WL 2202544 (Cal. Ct. App. 2023) Suchin Lin received favorable performance evaluations as an IT Engineer at Kaiser before the decision was made to eliminate her position. Before Lin was informed of the elimination of her position, she fell in the workplace and suffered an injury to her shoulder, … Continue Reading

Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit Was Properly Dismissed

Lopez v. La Casa de Las Madres, 2023 WL 2534998 (Cal. Ct. App. 2023) Gabriela Lopez worked as shelter manager for a non-profit organization that provides services to women and children who are victims of domestic violence. In September 2016, Lopez gave birth to a child; by December 17, 2016, Lopez had received the full … Continue Reading

January 2023 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2023 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Age/National Origin Case Was Properly Dismissed Despite “Direct Evidence” Of Discriminatory Animus Family Court May Order Employer To Provide Determination Of Arrearages Owed In Spousal … Continue Reading

Age/National Origin Case Was Properly Dismissed Despite “Direct Evidence” Of Discriminatory Animus

Opara v. Yellin, 57 F.4th 709 (9th Cir. 2023) Joan Opara was terminated from her employment as an IRS revenue officer after the IRS determined she had committed several “UNAX offenses” (i.e., incidents of unauthorized access of taxpayer data). Following her termination, Opara sued the Treasury Secretary, alleging she was terminated in violation of the … Continue Reading

California Mandatory Postings and Pamphlets – What’s New for 2023

California employers are required to post several notices and distribute various pamphlets informing employees of their employment rights.  Effective January 1, 2023, eight (8) out of eighteen (18) of these required notices will be updated.  The eight (8) notices that will be updated are the following: 1. California Minimum Wage; 2. Family Care and Medical … Continue Reading

November 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Equal Pay Act Claim Should Not Have Been Dismissed Whistleblower Claim Should Not Have Been Dismissed In Part School District Employee May Have Been Discriminated … Continue Reading

Employer Waived Right To Arbitration By Failing To Timely Pay Arbitration Fees

Espinoza v. Superior Court, 83 Cal. App. 5th 761 (2022) Rosa M. Quincoza Espinoza sued her former employer, Centinela Skilled Nursing & Wellness Centre West, LLC, for discrimination and retaliation.  The employer filed a motion to stay the litigation and compel arbitration, invoking the terms of an arbitration agreement that Espinoza had signed.  After the … Continue Reading

School District Employee May Have Been Discriminated Against On The Basis Of A Disability

Price v. Victor Valley Union High Sch. Dist., 2022 WL 16845113 (Cal. Ct. App. 2022) La Vonya Price worked as a part-time substitute special education aide at the Victor Valley Unified School District before applying for a full-time position.  Although she received an offer for a full-time position, it was contingent upon her passing a … Continue Reading

Equal Pay Act Claim Should Not Have Been Dismissed

Allen v. Staples, Inc., 84 Cal. App. 5th 188 (2022) Joyce Allen worked at Staples as a field sales director (FSD) reporting to area sales vice president Bruce Trahey; FSD Charles R. Narlock also reported to Trahey.  As part of a corporate reorganization in February 2019, Trahey informed Allen and several other FSDs of his … Continue Reading

Five New Employment Laws that Every California Employer Should Know

A new year brings new employment laws for California employers.  California employers will want to begin revising employee policies and handbooks now, so that they are prepared to comply with these new laws when the majority of them go into effect on January 1, 2023.  Here are five new employment laws that every California employer … Continue Reading

October 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted October 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Hollywood Producer Is Not Liable For Drowning Death Of Executive Assistant Employer May Not Inquire Into Former Employee’s Immigration Status Workers’ Comp Determination Does Not Govern … Continue Reading

FEHA Employee Who Was Working Remotely May Sue In County Where She Lived

Malloy v. Superior Court, 2022 WL 4298371 (Cal. Ct. App. 2022) Eleanor Malloy began working remotely for her employer (which was located in Orange County) at her home in Los Angeles County in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Malloy filed a complaint in the Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging pregnancy discrimination under the … Continue Reading
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