To terminate an employee, a community college district must serve notice on the employee specifying the reason for termination.  If the employee contests the decision, the matter proceeds to an administrative hearing before an ALJ.  Here, plaintiff was terminated through this procedure.  The ALJ found cause for termination.  The employee unsuccessfully challenged that decision by a petition for administrative mandamus.  The ALJ’s decision is collateral estoppel barring the employee’s later employment discrimination suit insofar as it seeks damages for termination of employment since the ALJ decision establishes the employer had a non-discriminatory reason for terminating plaintiff’s employment.  Insofar as the employee sought other types of damage for employment discrimination, her suit was barred because she had not filed a complaint with the DFEH within a year of the last allegedly discriminatory act.  Likewise, the employee’s IIED claim was barred by the 2-year statute of limitations.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3 (Fybel, Acting P.J.); June 12, 2018 (published June 21, 2018); 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 574