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

Court of Appeal Clarifies the FEHA Requires Reasonable Accommodations to Employees Who Are Associated With a Person with a...

In the recent Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc. decision, the court held that under the California's Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"), employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for...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

California Court Imposes Duty to Accommodate Non-Disabled Employees Associated With Disabled Persons

On April 4, 2016, a California Court of Appeal set new precedent in Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, opining that the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) may require employers to reasonably...more

Reasonable Accommodation Protections Expanded to Non-Disabled Employees

Seyfarth Synopsis: California court creates new duty to accommodate employees who, although not themselves disabled, are associated with a disabled person. The Court of Appeal decision in Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable...more

California Court Requires Employers to Provide Reasonable Accommodations to Employees Who Are “Associated With” a Disabled Person

The California Court of Appeal, in its highly controversial opinion in Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, held that under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), an employer’s duty to provide...more

California Court of Appeal Finds that Employers are Required to Reasonably Accommodate Even Non-disabled Employees

On April 4, 2016, the California Court of Appeal issued an unprecedented ruling in Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express that the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers to reasonably...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

Do I or Don't I?—Alcoholism and Accommodations in the Workplace

Any college football fan can attest that this has been quite the year for upsets. As interesting as the on-field action has been, we have seen increasing media attention and fan commentary focused on the action off the...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

A Legislative El Niño for California?: New 2016 Employment Laws for the State’s Private Sector Employers

Experts are predicting a 95% chance of heavier-than-usual seasonal rainfall this year in Southern California based on the phenomenon known as “El Niño.”  Did the California Legislature and its Governor produce a comparable...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

Employer Win in California – Say What??? Stress From Working Under Particular Supervisor is Not a Disability

Over the course of a career many workers experience the displeasure of dealing with a difficult supervisor — the type of individual whose mere presence in the workplace is a source of dread and whose name inspires feelings of...more

Dual Ruling in FEHA Case Addresses Evidence Required to Establish Qualified Disability and Sets High Standard for Cost Recovery as...

Gabriel L. Roman, et al. v. BRE Properties, et al. - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (June 17, 2015) - The Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits, as unlawful discrimination, a refusal to make...more

Employee’s Inability To Work For A Particular Supervisor Does Not Constitute A “Disability”

Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Med. Found., 237 Cal. App. 4th 78 (2015) - Michaelin Higgins-Williams worked as a clinical assistant in Sutter’s Shared Services Department. Higgins-Williams reported to her treating physician that...more

Quirky Question #263, My Supervisor is Stressing Me Out!

Question: We have an employee who claims she has a mental disability involving stress and anxiety caused by working with her supervisor, and she has asked for a different supervisor as an accommodation. This doesn’t seem to...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

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

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

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

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