(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
Mr. Black’s Opinions Are Within the Scope of His Expertise and Plaintiffs’ Designation
Defendants first argue that Mr. Black’s opinions exceed the scope of his expertise and designation. In their expert witness designation, plaintiffs described the general substance of the testimony Mr. Black is expected to give as custom and practice of municipal employers in setting and enforcing sexual harassment policies and procedures for responding to complaints, and defendants’ sexual harassment policies and procedures and compliance or failure to comply therewith. Mr. Black’s expert qualifications are set forth in his Expert Report, and include the following:
30 years’ experience in interpreting federal, state, and local rules, regulations, guidelines and procedures regarding equal employment opportunity [ EEO ] enforcement;
Advising city departments and commissions on compliance programs with equal employment opportunity laws, regulations, policies, and procedures;
Serving as agency-wide EEO Division Manager of the equal opportunity contracting program in connection with the 3 billion dollar San Francisco International Airport Terminal Master Plan Project; As EEO Division chief, educating prospective bidders regarding the City of San Francisco’s nondiscrimination policies, including its Zero Tolerance Policy against sexual harassment in the workplace.
Educating scores of contractors, architectural engineering firms, and professional services consultants on non-discrimination in employment, including harassment prevention practices and procedures, when bidding for city, state and federally financed contracts.
Performing hundreds of wrongful termination investigations related to race, sex, sexual orientation, gender, disability.
Acting as consultant or expert witness on many employment issues, including sexual harassment, for both plaintiffs and defendants.
Contrary to defendants’ contention, Mr. Black’s experience is not limited to investigative research. He has sufficient knowledge, skill and experience in the field of EEO policies in general, and sexual harassment standards in particular, so that his testimony would be likely to assist the jury in its search for the truth regarding plaintiffs’ sexual harassment claims in this case.
Further, the plaintiffs’ expert witness disclosure makes it clear that Mr. Black will testify regarding the setting and enforcement of municipal sexual harassment policies and procedures in general and defendants’ compliance or failure to comply with their own policies and procedures in particular. It is up to the court to determine whether the expert testimony offered is within the general ambit of the topic disclosed. Jones v. Moore (2000) 80 Cal.App.4th 557, 565-566. Among other things, Mr. Black’s report sets out his opinions regarding defendants’ failure to implement and/or to enforce appropriate sexual harassment prevention and investigation polices and procedures. These opinions fall squarely within Mr. Black’s areas of expertise and the scope of plaintiffs’ expert witness designation for his testimony. (See Part 5 of 7.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.