Posts tagged Discrimination

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) has always contained a two layered statute of limitations for employees to bring lawsuits against their employers for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  Formerly, employees had one year to file an administrative complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) from the date of the alleged discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.  If an employee did not comply with this administrative requirement, then the employee’s complaint would be subject to dismissal for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.  Even if an employee were to file a timely administrative complaint, they were subject to a one year statute of limitations for filing a civil action from the time they received a right to sue letter from the DFEH.  The Stop Harassment and Reporting Extension Act (“SHARE Act”) has greatly expanded employee rights. (AB 9, 2019).

In two decisions issued within the last month, the California appellate courts broadened the circumstances under which agreements to arbitrate civil claims can be enforced. One court held that an employee effectively entered into an agreement by continuing to work for the company around the same time a claim was filed, while another held that an arbitration agreement applied to a claim even after a lawsuit was filed. The two cases clarified the availability of arbitration agreements to insulate employers from the prospect of jury trials in both such situations.

In the recent case of Huerta v. Kava Holdings, Inc., 2018 WL 5999639 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 14, 2018), the California Court of Appeal held that a prevailing employer that made a section 998 settlement offer to the plaintiff in an action brought under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) was not entitled to costs and expert witness fees incurred after the plaintiff’s rejection of the offer.

The DFEH recently released its Sample Equal Opportunity Policy. The Sample Policy is available in PDF and Word form on the DFEH’s employment resources page at https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/resources/posters-and-brochures-and-fact-sheets/poster-and-brochure-tab-list/?target=employment.

What kinds of provisions in arbitration agreements will cause the courts to invalidate them?  The Court of Appeal in the recent case of Baxter v. Genworth North America Corporation analyzed and rejected several of them, in upholding the denial of a motion to compel arbitration of an employee’s wrongful termination and discrimination claims.  Baxter v. Genworth North America (October 26, 2017 ...

On August 29, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) informed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that it is suspending implementation of the EEO-1 form that was revised on September 29, 2016, in accordance with the OMB’s authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).  This means that employers will not be required to report salary information with the EEO-1 Report due on March 31, 2018.

The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that an appellate court must review a district court’s decision whether to enforce a subpoena issued by the EEOC under an abuse of discretion standard rather than de novo review which provided no deference to the district court’s decision.  McLane Co. v. the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 137 S. Ct. 1159 (2017).

Facts and Procedural Background

In ...

On July 16, 2015, Governor Brown approved an amendment to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibiting an employer or other covered entity from retaliating, or otherwise discriminating, against a person for requesting accommodation of his or her disability or religious beliefs, regardless of whether the accommodation request was granted.

The legislation stems from the Court of ...

In perhaps the first case to employ jury instructions based on the California Supreme Court’s recent holding in Harris v. City of Santa Monica that a plaintiff alleging discrimination in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) must prove that discrimination was a “substantial factor” motiving the challenged action of the employer and not just a factor, in Rodriguez ...

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