Motion for Summary Judgment Granted in Sexual Orientation Harassment Case

Haight was retained to represent a large public school district in a high profile single plaintiff harassment action. A District teacher at a continuation high school sued the District under Government Code section 12940 of the Fair Employment and Housing Act based on homophobic comments made to the teacher by certain students. The District brought a summary judgment motion arguing an employer cannot be liable for harassment committed by third party non-employees outside of the sexual harassment context. After substantial further briefing regarding the distinction between harassment based on sexual orientation and “sexual harassment” under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Court granted summary judgment in favor of the District. This victory by Haight represents a big win for employers in a hotly contested area of the law.

April 22, 2014