(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this workplace/sex discrimination case and its proceedings.)
1) Sufficiently Similar in Kind
Plaintiff presented evidence that retaliatory and discriminatory acts that were extremely similar in kind occurred both before and after the one-year limitations period. For instance, the City sent Mr.Carter to a fitness-for-duty evaluation on February 26, 2004 (before the one-year period), as well as on August 11, 2004, and again on September 4, 2004 (after the one-year period). The City submitted a discriminatory and retaliatory retirement application on April 26, 2004 (before the one-year period) and pursued that same discriminatory and retaliatory application after June 10, 23 2004 (into the one-year period). On February 2, 2004 (before the one-year period) the defendant refused to allow plaintiff to return from a mental health leave of absence, despite a release from his treating physician.
The same thing occurred on August 10, 2004 (into the one-year period). The defendant arbitrarily refused to process plaintiff’s grievance over the fitness for duty conclusion in May of 2004 (before the one-year period) as well as on July 12, 2004 (into the one year period). The defendant refused to accommodate plaintiff both before and after June 10, 2004. The defendant refused to engage plaintiff in the interactive process both before and after June 10, 2004. This group of facts, standing alone, is sufficient for the jury to have found a continuing violation with respect to all four of plaintiff’s causes of action.
Significantly, the retaliatory and discriminatory acts that were identified at the trial of the matter all had one thing in common: they were intended to prevent plaintiff from returning to work.[FN5] The same thing was true of his claims for failure to accommodate and failure to engage in the interactive process. When the City repeatedly refused plaintiffs reasonable requests for accommodation it prevented him from returning to work. When the City failed to engage plaintiff in a good faith interactive process it prevented him having a fair chance to discuss returning to work in some capacity. When the City retaliated against plaintiff by sending him to a fitness for duty evaluation on February 26, 2004 and August 11, 2004, it prevented him from returning to work.
When the City refused to accept medical releases from plaintiffs psychiatrist it prevented him from returning to work. When the City discriminated against plaintiff by applying for an involuntary disability retirement it prevented him from returning to work. Put another way, all four of plaintiff’s claims centered on the City’s refusal to permit him to return to work. All four claims were related, interconnected, and formed a course of unlawful conduct that extended well into the one-year statutory period. (See Part 11 of 19.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.