California Fair Employment and Housing Act

News & Analysis as of

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Kamali v. California Department of Transportation, No. B247756 (March 17, 2015): In an unpublished opinion, the California Court of Appeal recently upheld a jury’s verdict finding the California Department of Transportation...more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Dawson v. Country Club of Rancho Bernardo, No. D064654 (March 23, 2015): In an unpublished opinion, a California Court of Appeal reversed an order granting summary judgment in favor of the employer, Country Club of Rancho...more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

New Employment Laws Affecting California Businesses in 2015

The California Legislature recently enacted a number of new employment laws that will take effect in 2015 that will impact businesses in California. With the New Year quickly approaching, employers should review their...more

2015 Labor & Employment Law Update for California Employers

The California Legislature enacted a number of new bills that become effective in 2015. Among the most significant are the following...more

Employment Law Commentary - October 2014

California Legislative Update - Welcome back to our annual review of new laws that may impact California employers! This year’s highlights include California’s new paid sick leave law, additions to sexual harassment...more

Employment Law - Oct 2014 #3

DOL Grants Could Signal More Misclassification Actions - Why it matters: Employers have faced a tidal wave of litigation over the alleged misclassification of employees as independent contractors, with workers ranging...more

California Employers Must Now Include Training against "Abusive Conduct" in AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Training for Supervisors

Last week, Governor Brown signed legislation that adds a new component to the required AB 1825 sexual harassment training for supervisors. Starting January 1, 2015, AB 1825 anti-harassment training must also include training...more

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