News & Analysis as of

Does an Employer have to Accommodate a Nondisabled Employee Because of Another’s Disability? Yes, Says One California State...

Last month, a California state appellate court issued a decision that, as the dissent characterized, went “where no one has gone before.” In Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc., the court held that...more

California Employment Law Notes - May 2016

Employee Who Needed To Assist Disabled Son Could Proceed With "Associational Disability Discrimination" Claim - Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc., 246 Cal. App. 4th 180 (2016) - Luis...more

Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express: The Reasonable Accommodation of an Employee’s Family

In Luis Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, the California Court of Appeal held that California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) – which requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees with...more

It’s All Relative: A California Court Says Employers Must Accommodate Employees “Associated” With a Person With a Disability

In an issue of first impression, the California Court of Appeals held that employers have a duty under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to provide reasonable accommodations to an applicant or employee who...more

Connection to Someone With a Disability is Nearly Identical to an Actual Disability

As disability discrimination and accommodation claims continue to rise across the country, an appellate court in California may have just helped significantly expand such claims in the future by finding that an employee can...more

USC Responds to Football Coach’s Claims that Termination Was Discriminatory

In October of last year, I wrote in this space about how the firing of Steve Sarkisian as head football coach by the University of Southern California (“USC”) may raise legal issues related to the Americans with Disabilities...more

Employment Law Commentary, January 2016

Alcoholism And Disability Discrimination: Lessons From The USC Coach’s Case - If you have never dealt with an employee who is an alcoholic, rest assured, you will. Alcoholism has been described as the single largest,...more

Trojan Travails: Coach Sarkisian’s Alcoholism-Discrimination Lawsuit Against USC

Readers have been clamoring for my take on the alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit filed by Steve Sarkisian against the University of Southern California. Actually, I got one email from a reader, who had a better take on...more

Employment Law - September 2015

From the California Legislature: New Employment Laws, Bills Set for Signature: Why it matters - The California Legislature has been busy with employment-related bills, passing measures to provide additional...more

The ADA At 25: Mental Disabilities In The Spotlight

Last year, we marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This year the Americans with Disabilities Act turns 25. Two laws with a shared, broader goal—to level the playing field and eradicate unlawful...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

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

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

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

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 -- Oct 15, 2013

“Use It or Lose It” Policy Results in Multimillion-Dollar Verdict - Why it matters: Although this decision is unpublished, it provides a lesson on the potentially expensive ramifications of maintaining an illegal...more

Required Extension of Statutory Pregnancy Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation

In a case of first impression, the Second Appellate District in California, recently took an expansive view of pregnancy leave rights for employees. Under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”), employees...more

California Adopts New Disability Discrimination Regulations

Regulations proposed by California's Fair Employment and Housing Commission governing disability discrimination have been finalized after public comment and are now in effect. According to the Statement of Purpose, the...more

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