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Nonemployer Individuals Cannot Be Held Liable for Retaliation Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act

March 10, 2008

By Katherine C. Huibonhoa

On March 3, 2008, a divided California Supreme Court gave employers a significant victory in Jones v. The Lodge at Torrey Pines Partnership. The single issue before the Court concerned individual liability for retaliation under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and both the majority and dissenting opinions relied heavily on statutory interpretation. The 4-3 majority concluded that individual employees cannot be held
liable for retaliation under the FEHA, thereby extending the rule first established in Reno v. Baird that precluded individual liability for discrimination under the FEHA. This client alert discusses the Torrey Pines case and the implications for California employers.