California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: FEHA

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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

Employee’s Attorney’s “Pervasive Incivility” Justified $460,000 Reduction In Fees

Snoeck v. ExakTime Innovations, Inc., 2023 WL 7014096 (Cal. Ct. App. 2023) Steve Snoeck prevailed at trial on one of his six claims against his former employer, ExakTime Innovations, and was awarded $1.14 million in attorney’s fees – an amount that the trial court reduced by a “0.4 negative multiplier” to account for Snoeck’s attorney’s … Continue Reading

In a Surprise Move, California Enacts Boatload of New Pro-Employer Laws – Nah, Just Kidding, It’s Going to be More Burdensome than Ever!

In what has become an annual tradition, California – that fabled workers’ paradise on earth – has enacted a slew of new laws that, come January, may keep even the most hearty HR professionals up at night. As we reported earlier this year (here), the California Chamber of Commerce initially identified 11 “Job Killer Bills” … Continue Reading

Business Entity Agents Of Employer Share Potential FEHA Liability

Raines v. U.S. Healthworks Med. Group, 2023 WL 5341067 (Cal. S. Ct. 2023) The Ninth Circuit certified to the California Supreme Court the question of whether FEHA’s definition of “employer” extends to corporate agents of the employer such as a company that conducts preemployment medical screenings.  In this putative class action, plaintiffs allege that their … 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

California Expands FEHA Liability to Include “Institutional Agents” of Employers

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is already one of the most employee-friendly state civil rights laws in the country. Until now, it was not clear whether employees could sue not only their direct employers for discrimination and harassment, but also other independent businesses that work on behalf on their employers. In Raines v. … 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

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

No Claim By Employee Who Was Friends With Alleged Harasser

Atalla v. Rite Aid Corp., 2023 WL 2521909 (Cal. Ct. App. 2023) Hanin Atalla and Erik Lund had a social relationship and became “close friends” before Atalla began working at Rite Aid where Lund worked as a district manager/district leader. Atalla and her husband socialized with Lund and his wife, and Atalla and Lund exchanged … Continue Reading

California’s Civil Rights Department Adds More Detail to Regulations Regarding Consideration of Applicants’ Criminal History

In the weeks and months since it changed its name from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to the California Civil Rights Department (“CRD”), the agency has been busy.  Most recently, the CRD released proposed modifications to the regulations under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) related to the use and consideration of … 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

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

California Employment Laws Passed and Pending

It just wouldn’t be Fall without the passage of a flurry of new laws, shaking up the employment landscape in California.  As of the close of the legislative session on August 31, several “job killer” bills (so called by the California Chamber of Commerce as reported here and here) passed the state legislature and are … Continue Reading

Several State “Job Killer” Bills Move One Step Closer to Passage

As covered previously here, the California Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber”) once again has identified a handful of “job killer” bills making their way through the legislative process.  This year’s crop of proposed legislation would, among other things, inflate employer data reporting requirements and further expand the scope of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).  … Continue Reading

Employee with Mild Symptoms of COVID-19 Was Not “Disabled” Under California Law

In Michelle Roman v. Hertz Local Edition Corp., a United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of Hertz, and against former employee Michelle Roman, whose employment was terminated after she contracted COVID.  Roman claimed that her job should have been protected by the California Fair Employment … Continue Reading

Spring Showers Bring Job Killer Bills to California

Pablo Neruda once said “you can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”  Likewise, California businesses’ protests against oppressive employment legislation don’t seem to stem the tide of the Legislature’s latest batch of anti-employer bills. The California Chamber of Commerce has just identified a host of recently introduced “Job Killer” Bills … Continue Reading

New Lawsuit Reminds Employers to Check Their Grooming Policies

A suit filed last week in San Diego Superior Court serves as a reminder to employers about the importance of keeping up-to-date on California’s evolving Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). In the new suit, an employee, Jeffrey Thornton, claims that he was discriminated against on the basis of his race when his former employer, … Continue Reading

Governor Newsom Signs A Slew of New Employment Laws for 2022

As the 2021 legislative season came to a close, Governor Gavin Newsom signed numerous bills into law. From arbitration to workplace safety, these laws will impact employers across the state.  We have summarized the most important ones for you here: Arbitration Arbitration fees will now need to be paid upon receipt of invoice unless the … Continue Reading

September 2021 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2021 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Ninth Circuit Rejects “Paramour Preference” Liability Arising From Supervisor’s Affair With Another Employee $3.5 Million Emotional Distress Award Was “Shockingly Disproportionate” To Evidence Of Harm … Continue Reading

Employer Must Prove Employee Knew Or Should Have Known Of Discriminatory Failure To Hire For Statute Of Limitations Bar To Apply

Pollock v. Tri-Modal Distrib. Servs., Inc., 11 Cal. 5th 918 (2021) Pamela Pollock, a customer service representative for Tri-Modal, alleged she was passed over for several promotions because she refused to have sex with Michael Kelso, Tri-Modal’s executive vice-president. Kelso initiated a dating relationship with Pollock in 2014, but the relationship ended in 2016 when … Continue Reading
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