California Ushers In Wave Of Sexual Harassment Laws In Wake Of #MeToo Movement


California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a number of sexual harassment bills into law, which take effect January 1, 2019. Many of these laws were approved to address persistent sexual harassment issues in the workplace and elsewhere, as highlighted by the #MeToo movement. Below is an overview of the new sexual harassment laws, which affect employers and other businesses and professionals:

Sanchez v. Swissport, Inc.: Pregnant Employee Who Was Fired After Exhausting Pregnancy Disability Leave Stated A Claim For FEHA Employment Discrimination


by Sayema Hameed

What happens when a pregnant employee who exhausts all of her vacation time and pregnancy disability leave cannot return to work because she is disabled by a high risk pregnancy?  In the case of Ana G. Fuentes Sanchez, she was fired by her employer, Swissport, Inc., due to her failure to return to work.

Ms. Fuentes Sanchez filed suit against Swissport, alleging pregnancy discrimination under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), Government Code Section 12900 et seq.  The trial court concluded that she failed to state a claim under FEHA because her employer had given her the maximum leave allowed under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, Government Code Section 12945.  The Court of Appeal, however, reversed the trial court, concluding that the plaintiff sufficiently stated a cause of action under FEHA for employment discrimination.  Sanchez v. Swissport, Inc. (filed February 21, 2013, Second District, Div. Four, Case No. B237761).