California Fair Employment and Housing Act

News & Analysis as of

Trial Court's Discretion to Award Costs to Prevailing Defendant in FEHA Action Is Subject to Christiansburg Standard

The California Supreme Court held that a prevailing defendant in an action under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (Govt C §§12900–12996) is entitled to an award of costs only in the discretion of the trial court...more

Today's Immigration Debate Impacts California Employment Law and Litigation

A year ago, the California Supreme Court limited damages in employment discrimination claims brought under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) when an employer discovers it employed an unauthorized worker....more

Employment Law - May 2015 #2

Coming Soon to an In-Box Near You: An EEOC Charge - Why it matters: Employers, take note: the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has initiated the rollout of its electronic complaint program, the first...more

California Supreme Court Makes It Harder For Prevailing FEHA Defendants To Recover Their Costs

Under section 1032(b) of the California Code of Civil Procedure, “a prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs in any action or proceeding” unless some statute expressly says otherwise. It has been...more

Stock-Not So-Well: Officers Denied Class Certification Of Age Discrimination Claims (Again)

As we reported here to our loyal blog readers, in April 2014, the Ninth Circuit overturned an order denying class certification of age discrimination claims filed by a group of police officers in Stockwell v. City & Cnty. of...more

Quirky Question #261, When will our employee return?

Question: We’re a large company with offices in many locations, including in California, Minnesota, Washington and New York City. We often have disabled employees provide doctors’ notes that say they are unable to...more

Prevailing FEHA Defendant Not Entitled To Litigation Costs Unless Plaintiff’s Lawsuit Lacked Objective Basis

The California Supreme Court in Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire District affirmed the asymmetrical nature of litigation costs awards in discrimination lawsuits under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - May 2015

EEOC Conciliation Efforts Subject To Limited Judicial Review - In Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC, the United States Supreme Court held that the conciliation efforts of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are...more

Courts can review EEOC’s pre-litigation conciliation efforts: 6 steps for employers

The United States Supreme Court has unanimously held in Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC that courts can review conciliation efforts by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before the agency sues an employer. ...more

Employers Who Prevail in FEHA Cases Cannot Recover Costs Unless the Employee’s Claims Are Frivolous, Unreasonable, or Groundless

In Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fires District, (No. S213100, en banc, filed 5/4/15) (Williams), the Supreme Court of California held a prevailing defendant in an action under the California Fair Employment and...more

Caltrans Liable for Failure to Properly Address Employee’s Requests for Accommodation

Kamali v. California Department of Transportation, No. B247756 (March 17, 2015): In an unpublished opinion, the California Court of Appeal recently upheld a jury’s verdict finding the California Department of Transportation...more

California Court of Appeal Reminds Employers About the Importance of Thorough Harassment Investigations

Dawson v. Country Club of Rancho Bernardo, No. D064654 (March 23, 2015): In an unpublished opinion, a California Court of Appeal reversed an order granting summary judgment in favor of the employer, Country Club of Rancho...more

California Employer Successful in Arbitration Policy Dispute

Serafin v. Balco Properties Ltd., LLC, No. A141358 (March 16, 2015): The California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District recently upheld an arbitration award in favor of an employer despite the employee’s...more

California Confectioner Defeats Worker’s Age Discrimination Claim

Armenta v. Morris National, Inc., No. B255575 (March 27, 2015): Discrimination claims often ensue after a reduction in force (RIF) because laid off employees second-guess management’s selection process. However, as seen in a...more

Applicant Could Proceed With Race Discrimination Claim Despite Undisclosed Criminal Conviction

Raymond E. Horne was a glazier and a member of the glazier’s union. He also served as an officer and a member of the council and of the executive board of the union. Horne, who is African American, twice applied for an...more

Worker’s Failure to Perform His Job Duties Satisfactorily Dooms FEHA Retaliation Claim

Manner v. Intevac, Inc., No. H038979 (January 2, 2015): The California Court of Appeal recently upheld a trial court’s granting of summary judgment of a former employee’s claims of retaliation in violation of the Fair...more

House Painter With Vertigo and Restriction to Work “at Ground Level” Loses FEHA Case

Garcia v. California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, No. ECU05684 (January 16, 2015): In a recent unpublished ruling, the California Court of Appeal affirmed a directed verdict in favor of the California...more

Can Federal Immigration Law And AB 60 Be Reconciled?

On Jan. 1, 2015, the California Department of Motor Vehicles began accepting applications for the new A.B. 60 driver's license, named after the California legislative enactment that amended the state Vehicle Code to permit...more

Employer Is Not Required To Eliminate An Essential Job Function In Order To Reasonably Accommodate Disability

In Nealy v. City of Santa Monica, 2015 WL 632228, the Second District Court of Appeals held that an injured worker was properly denied the right to return to work where he was unable to perform essential functions of his job...more

Reasonable Accommodation and the Interactive Process—an Employer Prevails

An employer’s obligation to engage in the interactive process and to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified disabled employee as required by the Fair Employment and Housing Act is no simple task. More often than...more

California School Teacher’s Claim That She Was Fired Due to a Computer Error

Rommel v. Los Angeles Unified School District, No. B253405 (December 5, 2014): In a recent unpublished ruling, the California Court of Appeal reversed a trial court’s judgment in favor of a school district and against a...more

Employment Law - January 2015

U.S. Supreme Court: Security Screenings Not Compensable - Why it matters: In a closely watched case, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rule that the time spent by...more

10 Steps to Hiring Without Violating Disability Discrimination Laws

Regardless of whether a job applicant has an apparent disability, employers should always follow these 10 steps to reduce the risk of liability for running afoul of the anti-discrimination provisions of the ADA or the FEHA....more

California Court Revisits Employer’s Duty to Reasonably Accommodate Disabled Employee Under FEHA

Swanson v. Morongo Unified School District, No. G050290 (November 26, 2014): In a recent unpublished decision, a California Court of Appeal held that a teacher, whose request to teach a particular grade as an accommodation...more

New Year, New Laws for Employment Lawyers

AB 1660 prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees without valid California driver’s licenses. See Govt C §12926, Veh C §§1653.5, 12800.7, 12801.9. Under current law, the DMV has to issue a...more

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