Court Restricts Use of “Me-Too” Evidence to Support a Discrimination Claim

By: Sam G. Sherman, Esq. In 2009 and 2011 decisions, California courts held that Plaintiffs can support a claim of discrimination with "me-too" evidence--evidence that the employer or a particular supervisor discriminated against other similarly situated employees in the past. Common examples involve a woman supporting a pregnancy discrimination case with evidence that the employer had terminated other female employees upon return from maternity leave. In Hatai v. Department of Transportation, the plaintiff claimed he was discriminated against based on his…

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GOOD LORD!!! Church Can Fire Employee for Living with Boyfriend Out of Wedlock

By: Sam G. Sherman, Esq. Many employers feel that the law has gone so far that they cannot fire any employee for anything without risking liability. Not always true. The Fourth District Court of Appeals recently decided that a church can fire an employee for living with her boyfriend and raising their child together out of wedlock. Henry v. Red Hill Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tustin involved a female employee teaching in the Church's preschool. Henry was…

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Employers Need Not Accommodate Unqualified Employees

By: Sam G. Sherman, Esq. A federal district court in Johnson v. Board of Trustees of the Boundary County School District No. 101, recently clarified the circumstances under which an employer must accommodate a disabled employee or job applicant. The Court ultimately found that the employer need not accommodate an employee in obtaining the qualifications necessary to perform the job. Federal law prohibits an employer from discriminating against disabled employees. To prevail in a…

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EEOC Release Reveals Record Charges in 2011

By: Sam G. Sherman, Esq. On November15, 2011, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released its fiscal year 2011 numbers. The full text of the release can be found on the EEOC website. The EEOC received 99,947 charges of discrimination in fiscal year 2011. This was the highest number in the agency's history. The agency also obtained more than $364.6 million in monetary benefits for individuals claiming workplace discrimination. Finally, the report showed that the EEOC's private sector…

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California Appellate Court Rejects Individial Liability for Discrimination Against Members of the Armed Forces

By: Sam G. Sherman, Esq. In a case argued and briefed by Higgs, Fletcher & Mack's appellate team of John Morris and Victoria Fuller, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Haligowski v. Superior Court rejected an attempt to impose individual liability against supervisors for claims of servicemember discrimination in violation of Section 394 of California's Military and Veteran's Code. California courts previously rejected the imposition of individual liability against managers for discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). (Reno…

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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Class Certification in Wal-Mart Sex Discrimination Suit

By Sam G. Sherman The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied class certification in a suit brought by a class of roughly 1.5 million female current and former Wal-Mart employees in Wal-Mart v. Dukes. The female employees alleged that Wal-Mart’s policy of providing local managers with discretion over employment decisions has a disproportionate impact against female employees in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court after the trial court…

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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Class Certification in Wal-Mart Sex Discrimination Suit

The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied class certification in a suit brought by a class of roughly 1.5 million female current and former Wal-Mart employees in Wal-Mart v. Dukes. The female employees alleged that Wal-Mart’s policy of providing local managers with discretion over employment decisions has a disproportionate impact against female employees in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court after the trial court and the Ninth Circuit…

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