Plaintiff failed to state an actionable claim for discrimination based on marital status. He was fired when his wife complained to the CEO (his mother-in-law) that plaintiff was armed, angry and on drugs. The employer did not discriminate against plaintiff because he was married but based on the identity of his spouse—a so-called conduit theory of marital discrimination which works only if the animus against the spouse is itself illegal, which was not the case here. Also, as plaintiff was an at-will employee, the employer owed him no duty to investigate his wife’s charges before firing him. The FEHA requires an investigation when a third party accuses an employee of sexual harassment, but that wasn’t the charge here, and anyway the duty to investigate runs in favor of the victim not the perpetrator of harassment.
California Court of Appeal (Banke, J.); August 10, 2017 (published September 5, 2017); 2017 WL 3867645