What is Aiding and Abetting Discrimination and Harassment?

Aiding and abetting is a form of derivative liability. Richard B. LeVine, Inc. v. Higashi (2005) 131 Cal.App.4th 566.

A defendant is liable for aiding and abetting if the person:

  1. knows the other’s conduct constitutes a breach of duty and gives substantial assistance or encouragement to the other to so act, or
  2. gives substantial assistance to the other in accomplishing a tortious result and the person’s own conduct, separately considered, constitutes a breach of duty to the third person

Casey v. U.S. Bank Nat'l Assoc. (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 1138, 1144; see also Gov’t Code, § 12940(i).

Aiding and abetting cannot be imposed on a party who is the alleged discriminator, retaliator, etc. Navarrete v. Mayer (2015) 237 Cal.App.4th 1276 (aider and abettor liability imposes liability on a person who did not personally cause the harm to plaintiff).

Mere knowledge and the failure to prevent it do not constitute aiding and abetting. Austin B. v. Escondido Union School District (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 860, 879. Failing to act is insufficient for aiding and abetting under FEHA:

“A failure to act is a far cry from providing substantial assistance and conflates an ‘aiding and abetting’ claim with a claim brought under Cal. Gov.Code § 12940(k), which makes it unlawful for an employer to fail to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring.” Ortiz v. Georgia Pacific (E.D. Cal. 2013) 973 F.Supp.2d 1162, 1184.

It requires the defendant “to reach a conscious decision to participate in tortious activity for the purpose of assisting another in performing a wrongful act.” Berg & Berg Enterprises, LLC v. Sherwood Partners, Inc. (2005) 131 Cal.App.4th 802, 823 n.10.

It applies to joint tortfeasors. Berg & Berg Enterprises, LLC v. Sherwood Partners, Inc. (2005) 131 Cal.App.4th 802, 823 n.10.

Note, individuals who are not themselves employers cannot be sued under FEHA for alleged discriminatory acts, nor for claims of wrongful termination in violation of public policy. Reno v. Baird (1998) 18 Cal.4th 640, 663-664.

And “liability cannot be imposed upon the State under the aiding and abetting provisions of FEHA...” Vernon v. State (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 114, 132.

Useful Resources for Aiding and Abetting Discrimination and Harassment (FEHA)

Rulings on Aiding and Abetting Discrimination and Harassment (FEHA)

151-175 of 4104 results

MELISSA MEDINA VS CASA ESCOBAR MALIBU BEACH LLC ET AL

BACKGROUND: Plaintiff commenced this action on October 3, 2018 against Casa Escobar Malibu Beach, LLC and Daniel Arias for (1) sexual harassment in violation of FEHA; (2) sexual assault and battery; (3) failure to prevent sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual battery in violation of FEHA; (4) discrimination on the basis of disability in violation of FEHA; (5) discrimination on the basis of gender in violation of FEHA; (6) retaliation for complaining of discrimination on the basis of disability in violation

  • Hearing

    Jun 28, 2019

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

SARAH OCHOA VS SEIU LOCAL 99 ET AL

Plaintiff asserts causes of action for (1) FEHA disability discrimination, (2) FEHA failure to engage in the interactive process, (3) FEHA failure to accommodate, (4) wrongful termination in violation of public policy, (5) FEHA retaliation, (6) FEHA disability harassment, (7) FEHA failure to prevent harassment and discrimination, (8) intentional infliction of emotional distress, and (9) CFRA discrimination and retaliation. The case has been at issue since December 28, 2015, more than a year ago.

  • Hearing

    Jan 27, 2017

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

JULIE ORTIZ VS. MERCY HIGH SCHOOL, SAN FRANCISCO ET AL

Ortiz's reliance and assumption that Mercy High School would comply with California anti-discrimination law is unreasonable as a matter of law. Mercy High School also engaged in anti-discrimination training and posted anti-discrimination signs that Ms. Ortiz relied upon. Mercy High School's argument this conduct is compelled does not require a determination that the doctrines of waiver and estoppel are inapplicable.

  • Hearing

    Jul 19, 2017

CHOI VS ORIENT PRECISION AMERICA INC

It drops Samsung and the IIED claim, and alleges six counts against OPA and Ha: (1) FEHA gender discrimination; (2) FEHA age discrimination; (3) FEHA age and gender harassment; (4) FEHA retaliation; (5) FEHA failure to prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; and (6) wrongful termination.* Defendants now demur to the FAC, attacking all six counts. ROA 27. Plaintiff filed opposition. ROA 53. Defendants filed reply. ROA 54. The court has reviewed the papers.

  • Hearing

    Nov 09, 2018

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Other Employment

GONZALEZ VS. L.B.S., INC.

Because the FEHA and non-FEHA claims were intertwined such that the witnesses were largely the same for both sets of claims, all costs sought by Defendants are attributable to the FEHA claim and therefore are not recoverable.

  • Hearing

    Sep 09, 2016

PEREYRA VS DESERT OPHTHALMOLOGY

The Harris case was a Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) action and not, as here, a retaliation claim under Labor Code section 1201.5. The Harris court specifically rejected those non-FEHA cases in which a mixed-motive decision barred recovery. (Harris, supra, at p. 236.) The Harris court refused to apply such decisions in an FEHA action. This action is based on the Labor Code and not the FEHA. Plaintiff cites to no case which applies Harris to a non-FEHA action.

  • Hearing

    Jul 14, 2020

DELIA PERDUE ET AL VS MOBILE MODULAR DEVELOPMENT INC ET AL

Code section 12940, subdivision(a); (2) associational employment discrimination under Government Code section 12940, subdivision (a); (3) retaliation under Government Code section 12940, subdivision(h); (4) aiding and abetting employment discrimination under Government Code section 12940, subdivision(i); (5) wrongful termination in violation of public policy; (6) waiting time penalties under Labor Code sections 202, 203; (7) failure to pay earned wages in a timely manner under Labor Code sections 204, 206, 218.5

  • Hearing

    Jun 22, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

  • Judge Elaine Lu
  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

GIERUT V. APPLIED MEDICAL RESOURCES CORPORATION

The first cause of action contained four separate FEHA claims and the court only granted partial nonsuit on the cause of action for retaliation; it denied nonsuit on the theory of liability for failure to engage in the interactive process and reasonable accommodation. Moreover, issues of disparate treatment, reasonable accommodations, interactive process, and failure to prevent discrimination were considered by the jury.

  • Hearing

    Sep 26, 2019

JESUS ANTONIO VS DECKY CO INC

Plaintiff asserts causes of action for (1) FEHA disability discrimination, (2) FEHA retaliation, (3) FEHA failure to prevent, (4) FEHA failure to accommodate, (5) FEHA failure to engage in the interactive process, (6) wrongful termination in violation of public policy, and (7) declaratory judgment. Defendant moves for summary judgment or adjudication.

  • Hearing

    Dec 08, 2016

OMAR A LOPEZ VS COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

FEHA Claims – Failure to Prevent Discrimination (Second Cause of Action) and Retaliation (Third Cause of Action) Government Code Section 12940(k) makes it unlawful “[f]or an employer, labor organization, employment agency, apprenticeship training program, or any training program leading to employment, to fail to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring.”

  • Hearing

    Feb 15, 2017

RAM PYARE SINGH VS THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORN

Plaintiff asserts causes of action for (1) discrimination in violation of FEHA; (2) associational discrimination in violation of FEHA; (3) failure to take all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination in violation of FEHA; and (4) wrongful termination in violation of FEHA. DISCUSSION “Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, a prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs in any action or proceeding.” (CCP § 1032(b).)

  • Hearing

    Jun 03, 2018

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

RAM PYARE SINGH VS THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORN

Plaintiff asserts causes of action for (1) discrimination in violation of FEHA; (2) associational discrimination in violation of FEHA; (3) failure to take all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination in violation of FEHA; and (4) wrongful termination in violation of FEHA. DISCUSSION “Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, a prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs in any action or proceeding.” (CCP § 1032(b).)

  • Hearing

    Oct 24, 2018

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

SANDRA MENDEZ VS STRATASYS DIRECT INC ET AL

These non-FEHA cases provide only a moderate amount of persuasive authority that the policy in favor of encouraging settlements always outweighs the policy in favor of encouraging litigation to vindicate private rights. As noted by Mendez, though in a conclusory manner, the rights protected by FEHA against discrimination and harassment in the workplace are arguably more fundamental, if not entirely different, from the rights discussed in Goebel, Murillo, and Carver.

  • Hearing

    Dec 07, 2018

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

MARY ORLEANS V CONEJO VALLEY UNIFIED

Orelans' 1st cause if action (for disability discrimination under the FEHA) and to her 2d cause of action (for harassment in violation of the FEHA) are sustained, with leave to amend. To claim unlawful discrimination under the FEHA, pursuant to Govt. Code §12940 et seq., it is not enough that a plaintiff suffered from a 'mental disability.' To constitute a FEHA violation, Plaintiff Ms.

  • Hearing

    Sep 12, 2011

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

ROBERT BROWN VS ACCO ENGINEERED SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL.

(“ACCO”) and John Peterson (“Peterson”) (collectively “Defendants”) demur to the 1st (age discrimination [FEHA]), 2nd (harassment [FEHA]), 3rd (failure to prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation [FEHA]), 6th (violation of Labor Code §98.6 [retaliation]), and 8th (wrongful termination in violation of public policy) causes of action in the first amended complaint (“FAC”) of Plaintiff Robert Brown (“Plaintiff”).

  • Hearing

    Mar 17, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

SUNNY BATH VS COUNTY OF L A DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH

Plaintiff filed the operative Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) in this action on February 2, 2017, alleging five causes of action for (1) workplace color discrimination; (2) national origin discrimination; (3) hostile work environment; (4) retaliation for engaging in a protected activity; and (5) failure to prevent harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation. Plaintiff filed a second employment action (BC 648696) on January 30, 2017, alleging ten causes of action under the FEHA.

  • Hearing

    Jan 05, 2018

MARIET OHANIAN VS CITY OF LOS ANGELES ET AL

Madariaga is therefore entitled to costs as the prevailing party in the non-FEHA causes of action. In Cummings, the plaintiff alleged only causes of action for discrimination under FEHA. (supra, 11 Cal.App.4th at p. 1385–1386.) Similarly, the plaintiff in Williams alleged only disability discrimination. (supra, 61 Cal.4th at p. 100.) The court DENIES Ohanian’s Motion to Set Aside the Judgment and Strike Costs. II. ATTORNEYS’ FEES PURSUANT TO Code Civ.

  • Hearing

    May 04, 2017

LAWRENCE VS. THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

Failure to Prevent Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation in Violation of the FEHA Because this is a derivative claim and some of the claims on which it is based are going to trial, the Motion for adjudication of this claim is denied. 6. Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodations in Violation of FEHA and Failure to Engage in the Interactive Process in Violation of THE FEHA Plaintiff signed off and agreed to all three written accommodation agreements.

  • Hearing

    Jun 16, 2017

SAMUEL GARCIA VS COA INC ET AL

Plaintiff’s causes of action are labeled as follows: (1) veteran status/disability/perceived disability harassment in violation of FEHA; (2) veteran status harassment in violation of FEHA; (3) disability/perceived disability harassment in violation of FEHA; (4) veteran status/disability/perceived disability discrimination in violation of FEHA; (5) veteran status discrimination in violation of FEHA; and (6) disability/perceived disability discrimination in violation of FEHA.

  • Hearing

    Jun 26, 2017

LUTTRINGER VS NOTRE DAME HIGH SCHOOL

Plaintiff is correct that Title VII protects employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Bostock v. Clayton County (2020) 590 U.S. ___ (Bostock).) However, the causes of action here do not allege violations of Title VII; they allege violations of the FEHA. Bostock is inapplicable to the causes of action alleged in the First Amended Complaint. Plaintiff’s claims fail under FEHA as a matter of law.

  • Hearing

    Jul 14, 2020

LENARD VS ORANGE COUNTY TRANSPORTATION

Code §12940, 12946, 12948, see 12926 (employment discrimination and harassment); Cal. Const. Art. I, §8 (employment discrimination).” (See ¶64 of FAC.) Consequently, the Complaint reveals that Plaintiff’s claim under Labor Code section 1102.5 alleged retaliation, based on Plaintiff having complained of related FEHA violations.

  • Hearing

    Feb 28, 2017

VEGA VS. REED

Marralle (1994) 8 C4th 121, 135-13 (small employers exempt from FEHA bar against age discrimination are not subject to public policy against age discrimination derived from FEHA.] However, Article I, § 8 of the California Constitution provides an alternative source of public policy for these wrongful termination claims even if Defendant were exempt from the FEHA. See Badih v.

  • Hearing

    Mar 13, 2017

ARANA VS. CITY OF LAGUNA BEACH

Code § 1102.5 or describe that Plaintiff complained to the City Analyst of FEHA violations. Further, the DFEH’s investigation powers do not include Lab. Code § 1102.5 violations, but are directed at discrimination and civil rights violations under specific statutes not including Lab. Code § 1102.5. Gov’t Code § 12930(f), (g), and (h).

  • Hearing

    Jul 24, 2017

MARTHA ORTIZ VS THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY ET AL

Although Defendants prevailed on summary judgment on Plaintiff’s discrimination claim on the ground that they could not be held liable as her employer, that determination required discussion of the nuances of FEHA applicability to independent contractors and the distinctions between harassment and discrimination claims in that context. (Ruling, 5/7/19, at pp. 3-9.)

  • Hearing

    Nov 15, 2019

NASARITA RANGEL VS MEMORIALCARE MEDICAL GROUP

On April 16, 2018, Plaintiff filed the operative First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) alleging causes of action for (1) FEHA disability discrimination, (2) FEHA failure to engage in the interactive process, (3) FEHA failure to provide reasonable accommodation, (4) FEHA retaliation, (5) FEHA failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation, and (6) wrongful termination in violation of public policy.

  • Hearing

    Aug 07, 2018

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

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