Employment Law Reporter – March 2013: Pregnant With Practical Possibilities


California state courts see an average of ten to twenty employment lawsuits filed every day. Discrimination and wrongful termination claims are still quite prevalent in those filings. The recent California Supreme Court case Harris v. City of Santa Monica may be singly responsible for curbing such lawsuits in the future.

Wynona Harris was hired as a bus driver by the City of Santa Monica. During her introductory 40-day training period she had a “preventable” accident. Although Harris survived her introductory period and became a probationary part-time bus driver, she had a second preventable accident during her three-month probationary period. These accidents as well as an attendance issue led to a “needs further development” rating by the end of Harris’ probationary period. A couple weeks after another attendance issue, Harris disclosed to her supervisor that she was pregnant. A few days after this, Harris’ supervisor attended a meeting where he received a list of drivers who were not meeting standards for continued employment, and Harris was on that list. She was terminated two days later.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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