The Court of Appeal of California has ruled for the first time that a partner who reports sexual harassment is protected from retaliation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Until now, the conventional wisdom was that a partner reporting the partnership’s wrongdoing to the partnership wasn’t covered by the FEHA retaliation provisions.
Recent case: Mary worked as an emergency room doctor for the California Emergency Physicians Medical Group. She was one of 700 partners in a medical practice working in hospitals throughout the state. At one point, she supervised staff at four hospitals.
Mary claimed subordinates were being sexually harassed and reported it to the board of directors. Soon, she was demoted and lost her supervisory position. She did continue to work at one of the hospitals but without any employees under her direction.
Mary sued the partnership (and therefore herself) for retaliation for reporting sexual harassment. The trial court tossed out the case because she was a partner and not an employee.
The Court of Appeal of California reversed. It reasoned that FEHA protects “persons” from retaliation for reporting discrimination, and concluded that partners are also persons. The case was sent back for trial. (Fitzsimons v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group, No. A131604, Court of Appeal of California, 1st Appellate District, 2012)
Final note: The court’s liberal interpretation of “person” was consistent in its broad view that FEHA was intended to eliminate discrimination in the workplace.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/31928/remember-persons-can-report-feha-violations-even-if-theyre-partners-in-the-business "
- Be prepared to show business necessity if hiring rule excludes members of protected class
- You may need to offer flex schedule as ADA accommodation
- Good news: EEOC doesn't have the last word in deciding discrimination cases
- Coddle repeat harasser at your own risk--you could be courting huge penalties
- Don't Ignore—or Make Light of—Harassment Complaints