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04/04/2014

San Francisco Team Wins Summary Judgment in Discrimination, Failure-to-Accommodate Case

On March 12, Gordon & Rees San Francisco partner Mark Posard, senior counsel Crista Morrow and associate Rebecca Monroe won summary judgment in Los Angeles County Superior Court for their client, trucking company Dependable Highway Express (DHE), in an employment case with 13 causes of action.

The plaintiff, a former DHE truck driver, was terminated when he refused to follow instructions from his supervisor, claiming he had a doctor’s appointment. Among his causes of action, the plaintiff claimed one of his supervisors sexually harassed him by winking at him and once brushing up against him. The plaintiff also claimed that he was discriminated against based on his race and denied reasonable accommodations and terminated for requesting time off for the doctor’s appointment.

Gordon & Rees moved for summary judgment. Gordon & Rees proved that the plaintiff’s doctor’s appointment was not until the day after his termination, and therefore did not excuse his behavior and could not support a discriminatory termination or failure to accommodate claim. The court also found that the plaintiff could not make a prima facie case for sexual harassment or race discrimination because the harassment allegations did not constitute severe or pervasive conduct and there was no factual basis for his race discrimination claim. The plaintiff’s causes of action for retaliation, negligence, negligent hiring and intentional infliction of emotional distress were thrown out as well.

Mark S. Posard



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