California Supreme Court Alters How Bias Cases Will Be Handled

Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times, February 7, 2013

Even if discrimination plays a role in a worker’s firing, an employer will not be liable for back pay or other compensation if the employee would have been fired anyway for poor performance, the California Supreme Court decided Thursday.

The 6-0 ruling, with one justice recused, is likely to change the way most discrimination cases are handled in California, lawyers in the case said.

In the past, employees could receive compensation, including back pay and damages, and win reinstatement if they could prove that discrimination was “a motivating factor” in a firing.

Now, employees will have to show that bias was a substantial motive, and the employer will then get the chance to argue that performance alone would have resulted in the worker’s termination.

The widely anticipated ruling was not a complete victory for employers, however. The court said employers would still have to pay a litigant’s attorney fees if a jury finds that illegal bias was involved. A judge also would have the option of issuing an injunction ordering the company to end discrimination.

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  • haroldcrews

    Perhaps too many wrongful termination cases were being brought against the State of California?

    • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

      I have a friend who sued the State on just those grounds. Her bantu supervisor discriminated against her because she is chinese. It was settled out of court, just like QD suggested below.

  • Triarius

    This is what happens when the minority become the majoity. All those protective laws go away, conveniently when Mexicans will “officially” outnumber Whites. Now they can fire whites for being white and not be liable.

    • The__Bobster

      It’s already happening, and not just in Califoreigner.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      Exactly. This court is simply paving the way for more legalized discrimination against European whites. They waited plenty long while white white men were the victims and only now decide wrongful termination is wrong?

      When I suggest the use of nuclear weapons in Civil War Two, I’m not joking, and I think Sacramento can be added to the list of future deep, radioactive lakes.

  • The__Bobster

    I’m sure this decision will only work in one direction.

  • Dismissal bias cases are extremely hard to prove on their face. Notice that most of these bias cases are almost always settled out of court, with the defendant never really admitting bias in the dismissal. That’s because even if there is actually bias, there’s no paper trail to prove it. Too, rarely is there actually any bias in dismissals (unless you’re white, and affirmative action wants to replace you). I think actual civil trials where the civil jury actually finds that a non-white person was dismissed for racial bias are as rare as teeth on hens.

  • 48224

    Well, now that CA is at the tipping point, I guess a few sane people are finding it necessary to abandon egalitarian ideals and make some decisions that make a bit of sense.
    I have often wonded at what point it will take liberals of all colors abandon the wishful thinking of the left and embrace reality.

  • William_JD

    Even if discrimination plays a role in a worker’s firing, an employer will not be liable for back pay or other compensation if the employee would have been fired anyway for poor performance, the California Supreme Court decided Thursday.
    Say what? If he would have been fired for another reason, then “discrimination” couldn’t have played a role.

  • IstvanIN

    The whole concept of being fired for being black is absurd. They knew you were black when they hired you.

  • bigone4u

    When restaurants run unruly, loud blacks off the premises, will they be off the hook for a discrimination lawsuit too? If Mickey Mouse doesn’t give little Tyrone a hug is Disney off the hook? There’s a lot of work to do to end the affirmative action/discrimination lawsuit industry.

  • SmithandSmith

    This will only side one way and everyone knows it. A non-white firing a non-white (black against a hispanic for example) will be okay but nothing’s changing for us Americans.

  • LHathaway

    once a city becomes minority majority they quickly pass laws stating only residence of the city can work for city government. this is how they work ‘diversity’