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No litigating related claims in separate venues

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The Court of Appeal of California has ruled that employees can’t pursue related claims in different forums at the same time.

Recent case: College professor Payam Heidary claimed he was denied tenure and was dismissed from his job because one of the members of the tenure committee disliked him and discriminated against him because he is a Muslim of Middle Eastern descent.

He filed an internal grievance challenging his dismissal under the union contract, arguing he had been dismissed without “cause,” which the contract required. At the same time, Heidary filed a second lawsuit in state court, alleging discrimination based on religion and national origin.

The Court of Appeal said that was too much too soon. It ruled that his second lawsuit should be halted until the grievance is resolved. (Heidary v. Antelope Valley College, No. B221905, Court of Appeal of California, 2010)

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