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Www Caymanmama Com 2013-04-17 Santa Monica Transit Discrimination Lawsuit Change

Www Caymanmama Com 2013-04-17 Santa Monica Transit Discrimination Lawsuit Change

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In Harris v. Santa Monica, Wynona Harris, a probationary driver for Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus transit system, was fired days after revealing her pregnancy to her supervisor and alleged that was the reason for her termination.
In Harris v. Santa Monica, Wynona Harris, a probationary driver for Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus transit system, was fired days after revealing her pregnancy to her supervisor and alleged that was the reason for her termination.

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Published by: charity_bush123 on May 28, 2013
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Santa Monica Transit Discrimination Lawsuit Changes Employment Landscape in CA
2013-04 -18 00:05:04 (GMT ) (Caymanmama.com - News Providers News) 0 4/15/20 13 // Lo s Angeles, Califo rnia, US // Keller Gro ver LLP // Eric Gro ver // (press release) A case invo lving a pregnant Santa Mo nica bus driver who alleged wro ngful terminatio n has placed mixed-mo tive emplo yment cases in the spo tlight when the state Supreme Co urt ruled that terminatio ns fo unded o n bo th discriminatio n and fo r cause can result in atto rneys’ fees and co urt o rdered relief, but no t damages, back pay o r reinstatement o f the terminated emplo yee, repo rts Lo s Angeles emplo yment lawyer Eric Gro ver.


In Harris v. Santa Mo nica, Wyno na Harris, a pro batio nary driver fo r Santa Mo nica’s Big Blue Bus transit system, was fired days after revealing her pregnancy to her superviso r and alleged that was the reaso n fo r her terminatio n.

Harris, who was hired in Octo ber 20 0 4, was invo lved in two no n-injury accidents that damaged the bus and a parked car in o ne o f the crashes. Then, in the spring o f 20 0 5, Harris had two “miss-o uts” because she did no t no tify her superviso r that she wo uld be missing her shift. A few mo nths later, Harris revealed to her bo ss that she was pregnant, which resulted in her bo ss expressing “seeming displeasure” and she was subsequently required to bring a do cto r’s no te to allo w her to wo rk. Fo ur days later, Harris fo und herself o n a list o f pro batio nary drivers who were deemed to be sub par, and just two days later, Harris was terminated.

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Harris then filed a pregnancy discriminatio n lawsuit against her emplo yer. During the initial trial pro ceedings, a Lo s Angeles Co unty jury ruled that Harris’ pregnancy was “a mo tivating facto r” in her terminatio n fro m her po sitio n and awarded her $177,9 0 5 in damages and the co urt awarded o ver $40 0 ,0 0 0 in atto rneys’ fees.

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An appellate panel reversed the judgment because the “trial co urt sho uld have instructed the jury that if it fo und a mix o f discriminato ry and legitimate mo tives behind Harris’ firing, the city o f Santa Mo nica co uld escape liability by demo nstrating that the legitimate reaso n alo ne wo uld have led the driver’s superviso rs to terminate her,” co urt do cuments revealed.

In the o riginal case emplo yers argued that they sho uld o nly be held liable in circumstances where the emplo yee terminated co uld pro ve that the terminatio n was based so lely o n the basis o f discriminatio n. The Califo rnia Supreme Co urt to o k a different view and ruled that if discriminatio n was a “substantial” facto r in the terminatio n o f the emplo yee, that an emplo yer co uld still be held liable even if the emplo yee wo uld have been fired fo r cause.

“We believe that allo wing a same-decisio n sho wing to immunize the emplo yer … wo uld tend to defeat the purpo ses o f Califo rnia’s Fair Emplo yment and Ho using Act, Justice Go o dwin Liu wro te fo r the co urt. “Such discriminatio n, even if no t a ‘but fo r’ cause o f the disputed emplo yment actio n, wo uld breed disco rd and resentment in the wo rkplace if allo wed to be co mmitted with impunity.”

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“Altho ugh such remedies might help to ‘prevent and deter unlawful emplo yment practices’… they wo uld do so o nly at the co st o f awarding plaintiffs an unjustified windfall and unduly limiting the freedo m o f emplo yers to make legitimate emplo yment decisio ns,” Liu further stated.

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This decisio n may ultimately raise mo re questio ns than it answers and the middle gro und seems to have left bo th sides less than satisfied. Emplo yers are o ften co ncerned abo ut the legal co sts o f defending their actio ns, ho wever the lack o f clarity in defining what a “substantial facto r” really is causes great co ncern to emplo yees. “As far as the emplo yers are co ncerned, any incentive to treat their emplo yees pro perly is a useful to o l,” says Lo s Angeles emplo yment atto rney Eric Gro ver. “Emplo yees who feel that they have been discriminated against sho uld pro bably seek the co unsel o f an experienced emplo yment law firm to help them determine whether they have a valid co mplaint and sho uld pro ceed,” adds Gro ver.

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Me dia Inf o rm at io n: Addre ss: Lo s Angeles, C.A. Pho ne : 213.49 3.6 345 Url: San Francisco emplo yment lawyer | Lo s Angeles emplo yment atto rney
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