Mixed Motive Cases

News & Analysis as of

Employment Law -- Oct 23, 2013

In California, Arbitration Agreement Valid Despite Lack of Rules - Why it matters: California employers scored a victory with the Peng decision, with the court making clear that a procedural error in failing to include...more

Governor Reinforces Mixed Motive Win For Employers In FEHA Cases

Earlier this year, in Harris v. City of Santa Monica, the California Supreme Court gave employers an unexpected win when it approved of the “mixed motive” theory of proof. As a result, in discrimination cases under the Fair...more

California Legislature Deliberating Changes to Remedies in Mixed Motive Cases

This past February, the California Supreme Court addressed the viability of a mixed-motive defense to employment discrimination claims brought under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) in the Harris v. City of Santa...more

A New Heightened Standard For Title VII Retaliation Claims

On June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States held that Title VII retaliation claims require a plaintiff to prove the more stringent “but for” causation standard, rather than the lesser “motivating factor”...more

A Summary of the U.S. Supreme Court Decisions This Week Which Will Affect Employers

Windsor v. United States - Issue: Can the federal government define marriage? Holding: No. Loser: The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was passed in 1996 and signed by President Clinton, was...more

Supreme Court Issues Two Employer-Friendly Title VII Decisions

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday issued two Title VII decisions favorable to employers. One case examined the definition of a supervisor under the anti-discrimination laws, and the other dealt with an employee’s burden of...more

Supreme Court Limits Mixed-Motive Standard

On June 24, 2013, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified that an employee alleging unlawful retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 must prove that a retaliatory motive was the...more

"My Prior Complaint Was One Of The Reasons For The Adverse Employment Action": Mixed Motive Theories For Retaliation Claims Under...

Recently, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, which addresses the causation standard for retaliation claims under Title VII. The Supreme Court has already held...more

Attorney Fees Not Available In Mixed Motive Retaliation Claims Under Title VII, Seventh Circuit Rules

Under Title VII, in “mixed motive” discrimination cases (i.e., discrimination motivated in part, but not entirely, by an impermissible factor), an employer may limit Plaintiff’s recovery where it can show that it would have...more

Fifth Circuit: No Fee Shifting For Title VII Mixed-Motive Retaliation Claims

On April 3, 2013, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas that a plaintiff was not entitled to attorney’s fees and costs under Title VII (42 U.S.C. § 2000 e-5(g))...more

California Supreme Court Revises Jury Instructions And Trial Procedures In Discrimination Cases

Wynona Harris alleged her employment was terminated by the City of Santa Monica because of her pregnancy in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The city claimed Harris had been fired for poor job...more

The California Supreme Court Provides Mixed Result in Mixed Motive Terminations

In Harris v. City of Santa Monica, (2013) 56 Cal.4th 203, the California Supreme Court provided long-awaited clarification of the standards that apply when an employer terminates an employee for “mixed motives”—that is, when...more

California Supreme Court Rules "Mixed Motive" Is a Mixed Bag for Employers

The California Supreme Court recently clarified the defenses available to employers defending against claims of discrimination. In Harris v. City of Santa Monica, No. BC341469 (Cal. Feb. 7, 2013), the court ruled that, if a...more

Employment Flash - February 2013

In This Issue: - Ohio Supreme Court Reverses Decision on Surviving Merger Entity’s Ability to Enforce Noncompetition Agreements - “Sweet” Decision for California Employers: Court Approves Time Rounding in Case...more

California Supreme Court Issues Mixed Decision in Mixed-Motive FEHA Employment Discrimination Case

The California Supreme Court's recent decision in a closely watched Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) case should be of interest to employers around the country, even though — or perhaps because — it does not provide an...more

Supreme Court Rules that a State Court Has Jurisdiction over a Legal Malpractice Claim Involving a Federal Patent Issue

The Supreme Court of the United States, in Gunn v. Minton, determined that a Texas state court had jurisdiction over a legal malpractice claim, even though resolving the claim required the state court to address an issue of...more

California Supreme Court Eliminates Damages in FEHA Discrimination Cases Where Employer Proves Mixed Motive Defense

Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling clarifying details of the “mixed-motive” defense applicable to discrimination claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). Harris v....more

Supreme Court Holds That Patent Legal Malpractice Claims Do Not “Arise Under” The Patent Laws and May Be Heard in State Court

On February 20, 2013, the Supreme Court issued a decision addressing the critical question of where plaintiffs can or must sue when their claims implicate patent law but are not traditional patent law claims. See Gunn v....more

California Supreme Court Rules On Mixed Motive Defense To Discrimination Claims, But Large Verdicts Persist…

Wynona Harris, a bus driver for the City of Santa Monica (the City), alleged that she was fired because of her pregnancy in violation of the prohibition against sex discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act...more

Gunn v. Minton (2013)

A patent issue exerted its Circe-like effect on the Supreme Court again today in Gunn v. Minton, a decision overruling the Texas Supreme Court on the question of whether the existence of a patent issue in a legal malpractice...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - February 2013

In This Issue: *FEATURE ARTICLES - Cal Supreme Court Refuses To Immunize Employers In Mixed-Motive Discrimination Cases, But Significantly Limits Remedies - Manager's Bias, Public Policy, And Defamation...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Standard For “Mixed Motive” Defense To Employment Discrimination Claims

In a partial victory for employers, the California Supreme Court ruled in Harris v. City of Santa Monica that even when an employee proves that a discriminatory motive was a “substantial factor” in an adverse employment...more

California Supreme Court Issues Employer-Friendly Decision on Mixed-Motive Defense

On February 7, 2013, the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Harris v. City of Santa Monica. The California high court upheld the “mixed-motive” defense in cases brought under California’s Fair Employment...more

Legal Alert: California Supreme Court Issues "Mixed Motive" Decision Favorable To Employers

According to a new California Supreme Court opinion, once an employee claiming discrimination demonstrates that a discriminatory reason for his or her termination substantially motivated an adverse employment decision, the...more

California Supreme Court Splits The Baby In Mixed-Motive Employment Discrimination Case

In Wynona Harris v. City of Santa Monica, decided on February 7, 2013, the California Supreme Court addressed the following question...more

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