March 14, 2014

Published Ninth Circuit Victory for Employer in Discrimination Suit

In January 2006, Payne & Fears LLP obtained a complete dismissal of a discrimination suit brought against its client, a local hospital, in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  The plaintiff, a surgeon formerly under contract with the hospital, claimed race, disability and sexual orientation discrimination by the hospital and other entity and individual defendants.  After the dismissal of his case in District Court, the plaintiff filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit.  On appeal, Payne & Fears LLP argued that (1) the plaintiff failed to allege sufficient facts to establish a “severe and pervasive” hostile work environment for purposes of Section 1981; (2) the plaintiff’s claims for workplace discrimination were insufficient to state a claim under sections 51 and 51.5; and (3) the plaintiff’s claims under the FEHA were barred by the statute of limitations.  The Ninth Circuit agreed with Payne & Fears LLP on all three issues and upheld the dismissal of plaintiff’s lawsuit.  James L. Payne and Laura Fleming handled the defense of this case.