Thursday, September 2, 2010

San Francisco Judge finds no discrimination by John Muir Medical Center

John Muir Medical Center - Walnut Creek Campus
Photo from Elekta Impact Software
On Friday, Judge Claudia Wilken ruled that John Muir Medical Center had not discriminated against Elva Rodriguez who had worked there as an environmental technician for over a decade.  Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) where an employer takes an "adverse action" against an employee the employee may sue for damages.

Ms. Rodriguez had claimed that co-workers on two occasions made discriminatory remarks to her, that a clique of coworkers constantly spoke of sex in her presence, that she was not given a reasonable accommodation for her injured back, and that her employer retaliated against her when she raised these concerns.  Judge Wilken noted that two occasions of discriminatory remarks did not give rise to contractive termination and therefore lacked an "adverse action" which was actionable under Title VII or FEHA.  The disability claim failed because Ms. Rodriguez was unable to do her job due to injury and therefore could be lawfully terminated.

The retaliation claim had the most potential, Ms. Rodriguez's supervisor gave her a negative evaluation, causing the employee to leave and never return.  The evaluation had no adverse affect on Ms. Rodriguez because she never returned to work to learn of the consequences of the evaluation.

The case is Rodriguez v. John Muir Medical Center, No. 09-0731 and the opinion is below the jump.

Here is the opinion:
Rodriguez v. John Muir Medical Center

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