California Court of Appeals Rejects Employment Discrimination and Harassment Appeal

Employment-related lawsuits in California require plaintiffs to comply with many procedural requirements to pursue a claim successfully. If an employee is being mistreated in the workplace, several potential claims against the employer could be pursued. Although an employee may have two or more valid claims against their former employer, each claim needs to be pled and argued in accordance with the procedural requirements for each cause of action. The California Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of ten employment-related claims filed by a former employee of the defendant.

According to the facts discussed in the appellate opinion, the plaintiff began working for the defendant, a medical supply company, in December of 2013. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, during 2015 and early 2016, she began to experience harassment and discrimination from her supervisor. The plaintiff claimed that the supervisor, who was a woman, was discriminating against the plaintiff, also a woman, because of her gender. In May of 2016, the plaintiff reached out to the defendant’s human resources department to report that she was suffering health problems as a result of the mistreatment by her supervisor. Before the plaintiff’s complaint was addressed by human resources, she was terminated from her job, ostensibly because of her failure to accurately keep records as required by her job description.

The plaintiff filed a 10-count cause of action against the defendant after her termination, alleging gender discrimination, harassment, retaliation, unlawful termination, and other employment-related claims. The defendant responded that the plaintiff was an at-will employee and was terminated for her failure to abide by the record-keeping requirements of the job. The trial court addressed the plaintiff’s arguments in turn and summarily rejected them all as unsupported by the evidence. The plaintiff appealed the ruling to the state court of appeals, where the lower judgment was upheld. The appellate court ruled that most of the plaintiff’s arguments were waived on appeal because the plaintiff’s appellate brief was not sufficient to allow the court to consider the substantive merit of the claims.

If an employment discrimination plaintiff is not able to properly follow the procedural requirements to make a valid claim, they will not be able to obtain relief. Thousands of California plaintiffs each year fail when pursuing claims that likely have merit because they or their attorneys did not employ an effective strategy to have the meat of their claims considered by the court. Because procedural adherence is so important to California courts, it is important for wronged employees to have competent legal counsel on their side when preparing to pursue a claim.

Finding Your California Employment Law Attorney

If you or a loved one has been mistreated by an employer, you may have a claim for relief. Many hostile work environments are the result of several independently actionable claims, and with a qualified California employment law attorney by your side, you can present a winning case to the court the first time around. The experienced California employment lawyers with the Nourmand Law Firm have successfully argued all types of California employment law claims, and we can help you as well. For a free, no-obligation consultation with a California employment law attorney, call 310-553-3600 today.



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