Weekly Law Resume - September 12, 2011 - Employment Law — Admissibility Of "Me Too" Evidence


Lorraine Pantoja v. Thomas J. Anton, et al. Court of Appeals, Fifth District (August 9, 2011)

Under California Evidence Code section 1101, "character" evidence relating to a person's character or character trait is inadmissible to prove his or her conduct on a specific occasion. However, under this section "character" evidence is admissible to prove some other fact in issue, such as the person's intent or state of mind. In Johnson v. United Cerebral Palsy/Spastic Children's Foundation (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 740, the Appellate Court concluded that in a case for employment-related discrimination and harassment, evidence of discrimination or harassment experienced by other employees ("me too" evidence) could be admissible under Evidence Code section 1101 to show a defendant employer's discriminatory intent. This case affirmed that rule while holding that "me too" evidence is admissible even if it did not specifically concern incidents that occurred while the plaintiff was present or had specific knowledge of.

Plaintiff Lorraine Pantoja was an employee of defendant, attorney Thomas Anton, and his law firm Thomas Anton & Associates. According to Ms. Pantoja, Mr. Anton sexually harassed her during her 10-month long employment by inappropriately touching her; using sexually charged language including obscene language in her presence; and calling her a "stupid bitch" before firing her. She also alleged that Mr. Anton referred to his employees, some of whom were Hispanic, as "my Mexicans." Ms. Pantoja alleged race and gender discrimination and harassment in violation of California's Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"), wrongful termination, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

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.

© Low, Ball & Lynch | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.