Disability Discrimination

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Plaintiff raised a triable issue of fact precluding summary judgment on her disability discrimination claim.  Defendant fired her because she failed a physical exam which allowed an inference that defendant regarded plaintiff as disabled due to balance and strength deficits in her right leg as shown on the physical exam.  Plaintiff also raised a triable issue as to whether she… Read More

Exercising a peremptory challenge against a single prospective juror for a discriminatory reason forbidden by CCP 231.5 is enough to require reveral of the judgment in favor of the party that exercised the discriminatory peremptory.  In 2015, the Legislature amended CCP 231.5 to incorporate FEHA's definition of discrimination (Gov. Code 11135).  This decision broadly interprets the two sections, reading them… Read More

A Workers Compensation judge's finding that the employer did not discriminate against the employee based on her industrial injury under Lab. Code 132a does not necessarily preclude the employee's claims for disability discrimination under FEHA--at least when the Workers Comp. judge expressly refuses to decide whether the employer discriminated against the employee based on her disability as opposed to the… Read More

This decision reverses a summary judgment for defendant on plaintiffs Americans with Disabilities Act claim.  The summary judgment was granted on the ground that the defendant had fewer than 15 employees, the minimum threshold for application of the ADA.  However, the decision holds that there was a triable issue of fact whether the defendant, a Nevada law limited partnership, was… Read More

Under 28 USC 1367(c)(4), the district court may decline jurisdiction of state law claims  if in extraordinary circumstances there are compelling circumstances for declining jurisdiction.  This decision affirms the district court's ruling that there were extraordinary circumstances in this ADA, physical barriers case, because California's Legislature had amended Civ. Code 52(a) and 55.56 to discourage repeat litigation by a small… Read More

This decision affirms a summary judgment for the employer in a FEHA disability discrimination case.  The employer met its McDonnell Douglas burden of proving a nondiscriminatory reason for terminating the plaintiff; namely, her chronic absenteeism and failure to document dispensing of prescription medicine properly.  Plaintiff didn't produce any evidence showing the employer's reason was pretextual.  Though the employer had misclassified… Read More

This decision reverses a summary judgment in a disability discrimination case under FEHA.  Plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to support a prima facie case that he could perform the essential duties of a job with or without accommodation and that he was treated differently from other employees because of his disability. Defendant's showing of a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for plaintiff's discharge… Read More

To establish a claim under the ADA or Rehabilitation Act, a plaintiff must show: (1) he is a qualified individual with a disability; (2) he was denied a reasonable accommodation that he needs in order to enjoy meaningful access to the benefits of public services; and (3) the program providing the benefit receives federal financial assistance.  In addition, the plaintiff… Read More

Under the Department of Justice's Accessible Stadium's guidance document section 4.33.3, a stadium must all spectators in wheelchairs to see (a) between the heads and over the shoulders of standing spectators in the row immediately in front of the wheelchair spectators, and (b) over the heads of standing spectators in the second row from the wheelchair spectators.  The district court… Read More

Plaintiff, who suffers from PTSD, has a dog to help her cope.  She could not afford to pay for formal training and certification of the dog as a service animal.  She trained the dog herself.  This decision holds that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require that service animals meet certification standards before their disabled owners are entitled to… Read More

Brown, a teacher, complained that the electro-magnetic waves emanating from the new wi-fi system installed in her school caused her chronic pain, headaches, nausea, itching, burning sensations on her skin, ear issues, shortness of breath, inflammation, heart palpitations, respiratory complications, foggy headedness, and fatigue.  She reported her symptoms to the school, which initially gave her the option of having it… Read More

Whitaker adequately alleged standing to bring a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act by alleging that the counters in Tesla's showrooms were inaccessible to him (as a wheelchair-bound person) and deterred him from returning to Tesla's showrooms.  However, Whitaker's complaint was properly dismissed for failure to meet Iqbal/Twombly pleading standards as it mostly repeated the statutory elements of an… Read More

A school district is not a "business establishment" for purposes of the Unruh Act (Civ. Code 51) and so cannot be sued under that act for discrimination, including discrimination forbidden by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which the Unruh Act incorporates by reference. Read More

Under 42 USC 12182(b), an owner violates the ADA if it fails to remove architectural barriers to handicap access in existing facilities where removal is readily achievable, or, if removal is not readily achievable, if it fails to make its goods or services available to a handicapped person through alternative methods, if they can be achieved without much difficulty or… Read More

Background music is not part of the normal overall experience at a bar, so the bar need not provide hearing-impaired patrons with listening aids in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act or its California law counterpart. Read More

Although she taught a standard half-hour religion course each day, a fifth-grade teacher at a Catholic school was not a “minister” and so could sue the school for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by firing her after it learned she was diagnosed with cancer. Read More

Under the 2008 amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is no longer necessary for an employee to show that his perceived disability limited or was perceived to limit a major life activity in order to show evidence of “disability”; all that the employee need plead or prove is that the employer regarded him as physically or mentally impaired. Read More

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