California Fair Employment and Housing Act

News & Analysis as of

Caitlyn Jenner's Gift to Employment Law

Employers can learn a lot from Caitlyn Jenner. The ink on the Caitlyn Jenner cover of Vanity Fair magazine was not dry but social media was all atwitter over the transformation of Bruce to Caitlyn. The reactions to Ms....more

It Pays to Play: Judge Finds Costs Still Recoverable By Prevailing Employers in FEHA Cases Post-Williams

On May 4, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire District, holding that unsuccessful FEHA plaintiffs should not be ordered to pay the defendant’s ordinary...more

Taking the Stress Out of Employee Claims of Disability Caused by the Stress of Working for a Particular Supervisor

Navigating an employee’s claim of stress-related disability continues to challenge employers. Recently, the California Court of Appeal provided helpful guidance for employers when an employee claimed to be unable to work...more

Can that Doggie in the Window … Enter my Store?

Readers will recall that we recently corralled the law on “Assistive Animals” in the workplace, here. Now, in part two of our mini-series, we pony up an explanation of the rules governing the use of service animals by...more

Employment Law - June 2015

Actual Knowledge by Employer Not Necessary for Title VII Religious Discrimination Claim, U.S. Supreme Court Rules - Why it matters: In a closely watched case, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with a teenage applicant to...more

2015 Employment Bills Moving Through The CA Legislative Process

Thursday, June 5 marked the last day for bills to pass out of their house of origin in the California Legislature. Here is a summary of some key employment bills that made it through (followed by some significant bills that...more

The Transformation of Transgender Rights in the Workplace

Gender transition and transgender identity has taken center stage in the media recently. However, out of the spotlight, the rights of transgender persons may be unclear to many. Transgender persons struggle with difficult...more

Supervisor-Caused Stress is Not a “Disability” under the FEHA

The inability to work under a particular supervisor because of anxiety and stress related to the supervisor’s standard oversight of job performance is not a disability recognized under California’s Fair Employment and Housing...more

Inability to Work Under One Boss Is Not a Qualified Disability

In Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Medical Foundation, the Third Appellate District relied upon the repeatedly challenged holding of the First Appellate District in Hobson v. Raychem Corp. (1999) 73 Cal.App.4th 614 (“Hobson”) that...more

Is Supervisor-Induced Stress a Protected Disability? California Appellate Court Says No

Employers often encounter challenging questions regarding their duty to accommodate employees who are diagnosed with stress, anxiety, or other mental health conditions that allegedly impact job performance absent...more

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

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