Well, the good news is that labor numbers look very good for US businesses, which means there are more employees in the workplace and the economy is showing good signs for recovery. However, with more employees comes responsibility as the frost from a slowed economy begins to thaw.
March 2013 Employment Law Updates
California State Law Update
State Courts Review Pregnancy Discrimination in Employment
This month showcases some fantastic cases for legal commentators interested in the expanding laws protecting women from workplace pregnancy discrimination. In Harris v. Santa Monica, a February 7, 2013 California Supreme Court decision, our state high court considers whether the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) requires fact-finders to consider an employer’s ‘mixed motive’ versus ‘substantially motivated’ decision to terminate an employee who believes she has been discriminated due to pregnancy. In Harris, a bus driver (Wynonna Harris) with her two ‘preventable’ accidents, two ‘miss outs’, and an otherwise not so glowing performance review during her probationary period was ultimately terminated only a short time after her manager discovered she was pregnant. As is often the case in these published matters, the timing for this termination was undoubtedly bad. The issue in Harris, however, was not a question of whether the employee’s work performance was truly poor, or even whether the employer possessed actual knowledge of the employee’s pregnancy, but how jurors were instructed to find an award in Harris’ favor.