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Discrimination

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Smith was employed by Jiffy Lube.  Fifty Jiffy Lube employees including Smith and his supervisors attended a meeting at which Pumerol, a BP representative, provided information on the company's new product and how it should be used in Jiffy Lube's work.  During the meeting Pumerol made three derogatory comments about Smith, an African-American, including a reference to his "Banana Hands/" … Read More

Older 9th Circuit decisions hold that while statutory employment discrimination claims under Title VII and similar laws are arbitrable, there must be a showing that the employee knowingly waived his right to a jury trial of such claims.  In this decision, the court holds that even if the "knowing waiver" standard is still good law, it was satisfied in this… Read More

Section 105(c) of the federal Mine Safety and Health Act (30 U.S.C. § 815(c)) prohibits an employer from taking adverse action against an employee "because of" the employee's reporting a violation of the Act or seeking benefits under it.  Following the Supreme Court's decisions in Bostock v. Clayton Cnty., 140 S.Ct. 1731, 1739 (2020) and other recent cases, this decision… Read More

This decision affirms the trial court's reduction of punitive damages to a 2:1 ratio to actual damages in a disability employment discrimination case.  The employer's conduct was reprehensible, although not grossly so.  The large award of emotional distress damages already contained a punitive element, and particularly when combined with the 2:1 punitive damage award and with the large attorney fee… Read More

To prove a prima facie case under the  Equal Pay Act (29 USC 206(d)), the plaintiff need only show that men were paid more for substantially equal work. In making that comparison it is the overall job, not its individual segmnents that is to be considered. Here, the male professors of psychology were paid more than plaintiff for essentially the… Read More

When an employee sues her employer under Gov. Code 12940(n) for failing to engage in an interactive process concerning making a reasonable accommodation for the employee's disability, the employee need not suggest a possible accommodation to begin the process, but must, by the time of trial, be able to show that a reasonable accommodation existed at the time the employer… Read More

A doctor who was joined a hosptial's staff and was given clinical privileges and performed surgery at the hospital was an independent contractor, not an employee and so could not state a Title VII claim for discrimination in employment against the hospital.  He was on call with the hospital only 5 days a month, and his earnings from the hospital… Read More

Summary judgment for defendant in an age and racial association FEHA discrimination case is affirmed.  The employer provided evidence of a non-discriminatory reason for firing plaintiff.  Plaintiff failed to introduce evidence raising a triable issue of fact that the stated reason was pretextual.  The few alleged comments about plaintiff's age--mostly that she looked much younger than her age--were harmless and… Read More

Under the continuing violations doctrine, an employer is liable for actions that took place outside the limitations period if these actions are sufficiently linked to unlawful conduct that occurred within the limitations period.  Here, Blue Fountain subjected the plaintiff to a continuous course of sexual harassment for more than a decade.  When plaintiff finally quit or was terminated, she sued. … Read More

Santa Clara University is not a state actor and so cannot be sued for violation of 42 USC 1983 in firing one of its professors.  It did not become a state actor merely because it isrequired by generally applicable civil rights laws to ameliorate sex or other forms of discrimination. Nor does its receipt of federal and state funds conditioned… Read More

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