A recent California Court of Appeal case emphasized the need for employers to inquire further whenever an employee requests a medical leave that may qualify as "protected leave" pursuant to the California Family Rights Act ("CFRA").

Continue Reading Avila v. Continental Airlines: Ignorance Regarding Protected Medical Leaves Is Not Always Bliss

The Second Circuit’s ruling in Westrec Marina Management v. Arrowood Indemnity Co. is a warning to employers to report potential claims to their insurance carrier as soon as possible or face denial of coverage.  In Westrec, an employee filed a charge of discrimination against Westrec with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and requested an immediate right to sue letter.  Subsequently, her attorney sent a demand letter to Westrec asserting claims and seeking possible early settlement prior to filing a lawsuit.  At the time of the letter, Westrec failed to inform its insurer, Arrowood, of the claim.  The employee later filed a civil action, and when Westrec tendered the claim, Arrowood denied coverage.

Continue Reading Second Circuit Court Of Appeals Rules That An Employer Must Notify Its Insurer Of A Potential Claim Upon Receiving A Demand Letter From Counsel

State and federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees with physical, as well as mental disabilities.  In addition, employers are required to reasonably accommodate employees with known physical or mental disabilities as long as doing so does not cause undue hardship to the employer.  Gambini v. Total Renal Care, Inc., a recent 9th Circuit case, addressed the standard for evaluating a claim for disability discrimination where the plaintiff claimed that she was terminated for conduct resulting from a mental disability.

Continue Reading A Cautionary Tale For Employers Of Employees Claiming Disabilities Relating To Mental Illness