California Fair Employment and Housing Act

News & Analysis as of

Undocumented Workers May Pursue Claims Under California’s FEHA, So Says The California Supreme Court

On June 26, 2014, in Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., the California Supreme Court held that undocumented immigrants who fraudulently obtained employment still may pursue retaliation and discrimination claims under the...more

Unauthorized Work Status Does Not Bar Discrimination Claims

In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., the California Supreme Court held that an undocumented worker who was wrongfully terminated in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) may be awarded lost pay...more

California Supreme Court: Undocumented Worker May Recover Lost Wages for Period Up to Employer’s Discovery of Immigration Status

Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., S196568 (June 26, 2014): On June 26, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that federal immigration law does not preempt a California law that extends state law protections to...more

Don’t Wait Until Trial Is Over to Raise Objection As to Court’s Jurisdiction, Says California Court

Kim v. Konad USA Distribution, No. G048443 (June 12, 2014): In a recent decision, the California Court of Appeal held that an employer that waited until a trial ended to raise an objection about exhausting administrative...more

Ninth Circuit Revives Police Officers’ Age Bias Class Action Over Scrapped Exam

Stockwell v. City & County of San Francisco, No. 12-15070 (April 24, 2014): In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals diluted the Supreme Court of the United States’ holding in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes,...more

Ninth Circuit Holds On 23(f) Appeal That District Court Abused Its Discretion By Weighing The Merits In Denying Certification

After granting the plaintiffs’ Rule 23(f) petition, the Ninth Circuit reversed a denial of class certification, finding that the district court had improperly weighed the merits of the plaintiffs’ Rule 23(a)(2) commonality...more

Ninth Circuit Reverses Denial Of Class Certification In Disparate Impact Case

On April 24, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s denial of class certification in a disparate impact age discrimination case, holding that the court erred in considering merits issues...more

Contract That Shortens Time For Bringing Employment Claims Rejected By California Court

Ellis v. U.S. Security Associates, No. A136028 (March 20, 2014): A California Court of Appeal recently held that an employer cannot contractually shorten the amount of time that an employee has to bring an action under the...more

FEHA Limitations Period Cannot be Shortened by Agreement

In Ellis v. U.S. Security Associates, a California Court of Appeal held that an employer’s attempt to shorten the one year statute of limitations to file a harassment claim under FEHA was against public policy and...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - April 2014

Supreme Court Confirms FICA Taxes Must be Withheld from Severance Payments - Finding severance payments to be a form of “remuneration for employment,” the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Quality Stores,...more

Employment Law

PAGA Suit Belongs in State, Not Federal, Court Says Ninth Circuit - Why it matters: A wage and hour suit brought under California’s Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) belongs in state , not federal , court, the Ninth...more

Same Sex Harassment Is Actionable, California Court of Appeal Affirms

In Lewis v. City of Benicia, the First Appellate District affirmed once again that in California, same-sex harassment is actionable. Brian Lewis, a volunteer and later paid intern at the City of Benecia’s water...more

Former University Employee Ordered To Pay $100,000 In Attorneys’ Fees For Bringing Frivolous FEHA Action

Robert v. Stanford University, H037514 (February 25, 2014): The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed an award of $100,000 in attorneys’ fees to a prevailing employer in a case where a former employee brought a...more

Litigating Age Claims in California: Not Every Settlement Agreement Requires OWBPA Consideration and Revocation Periods

The Facts - I represent a national company with operations in California. A former employee recently filed a lawsuit against them in a California state court. After negotiating with opposing counsel, the parties...more

Weekly Law Resume - February 2014: Employment Law – Wrongful Termination – Retaliation – Jury Instruction

Romeo Mendoza v. Western Medical Center Santa Ana - Court Of Appeal, Fourth District (January 14, 2014) - In the Harris decision, the California Supreme Court held that CACI No. 2500 (the Federal Employment and...more

13 Changes To California Law In 2014: What Employers Need To Know

Every new year brings employment law changes for California’s employers and, while the Affordable Care Act has taken the spotlight for 2014, a vast array of employment laws deserve special attention from California employers...more

Getting Down To Business: Highlights Of New California Employment Laws

With the start of the new year, it is the perfect time for employers to ensure that their policies reflect the changes in California law. We covered many of the laws affecting employers in our “California Legislative Update...more

California Court of Appeal Affirms That It Pays To Be the Squeaky Wheel

In a time when California courts are busier than ever, the California Court of Appeal recently did double duty by issuing an opinion that both decided an issue of first impression in California and implicitly approved Senate...more

eAlert - California Employment Legislative Update: What's New for 2014?

In California, the New Year means new laws and regulations for California employers. Below we summarize new legislation that will affect employers doing business in California beginning January 1, 2014, unless otherwise...more

California Court Requires Clear And Unmistakable Waiver To Enforce Arbitration Agreement

Volpei v. County of Ventura, No. B243954 (November 7, 2013): In a recent decision, a California Court of Appeal held that an arbitration provision in a collective bargaining agreement did not waive an employee’s individual...more

New Year, New Employment Laws

With the New Year comes a number of new laws, including several that will affect California employers. Employers should include on their list of resolutions a review of the company’s policies and procedures to ensure...more

Ringing in the New Year: A Summary of New California Employment Laws for 2014

California’s 2012-2013 Legislative Session concluded with the enactment of a variety of new laws that will affect California employers. In light of these developments, summarized below, California employers should review...more

Employment Law -- Dec 20, 2013

Despite $27,000 Jury Award, 9th Circuit Approves Almost $700,000 in Attorney’s Fees - Why it matters: Affirming the broad discretion of federal district court judges to award attorney’s fees, the Ninth U.S. Circuit...more

When Santa Is Naughty, Does He Give Himself a Lump of Coal?

If so, then Santa should be giving himself a nice chunk of West Virginia’s finest to burn in his stove this Christmas. According the Associated Press, recently, at a mall in Hingham, Massachusetts, Santa was barred from the...more

Military and Veteran Status Added as a Protected Category under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)

Assembly Bill 556 amends the FEHA to add "military and veteran status" to the list of categories protected from employment discrimination. "Military and veteran status" is defined by the Act as "a member or veteran of the...more

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