As regular readers of this blog know, it has been a busy summer for employment-related legislation in the California Legislature (see here and here). Yet of all the bills currently wending their way through the legislative process, none would affect California employment law more than Senate Bill 655.
In a partial victory for employers, the California Supreme Court ruled in Harris v. City of Santa Monica that even when an employee proves that a discriminatory motive was a “substantial factor” in an adverse employment decision, the employee is not entitled to damages, reinstatement, or backpay, if the employer can show that the same employment decision would have resulted from non-discriminatory factors at the time.
In Harris v. City of Santa Monica, No. S181004 (Cal. Feb. 7, 2013), the California Supreme Court held that a plaintiff can establish a claim of employment discrimination by showing that discrimination was a substantial motivating factor in the decision-making process.
In Wynona Harris v. City of Santa Monica, decided on February 7, 2013, the California Supreme Court addressed the following question
On February 7, 2013, the California Supreme Court held that where a plaintiff proves that unlawful discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) was a substantial factor motivating her termination