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Monday, May 6, 2013

Sanchez v. Swissport: Employer's Compliance With PDLL Does Not Invalidate Employee's Causes of Action Under Other Provisions of the FEHA

In Sanchez v. Swissport, Inc. (2/21/13) --- Cal.App.4th ---, the Court of Appeal has held that an employee who has exhausted all of her leave under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL) may nevertheless state a cause of action under other provisions of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

Sanchez sued her former employer, Swissport, alleging, inter alia, that it violated California law by terminating her because she could not return to work after taking just over 19 weeks in accrued vacation, CFRA leave, and PDLL leave. The trial court sustained Swissport's demurrer without leave, and the Court of Appeal reversed.

After reviewing the basics of the PDLL and the FEHA, the Court held that the PDLL's "remedies augment, rather than supplant, those set forth elsewhere in the FEHA." Slip op. at 8.
In short, we conclude the superior court erred in sustaining the demurrer on the ground that appellant had no actionable claim under the FEHA because respondent had provided her with 19 weeks of leave under the PDLL.
Slip op. at 12. 

The opinion is available here

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