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Discriminatory Failure-To-Hire Claim Must Be Brought Under The FEHA

Williams v. Sacramento River Cats Baseball Club, LLC, 40 Cal. App. 5th 280 (2019)

Wilfert Williams sued the Sacramento River Cats Baseball Club under a common law tort action for allegedly failing to hire him as an assistant visitor clubhouse manager because of his race. The trial court sustained the employer’s demurrer to the complaint on the ground that California law does not recognize a common law cause of action for failure to hire in violation of public policy. The Court of Appeal affirmed dismissal of the claim on the ground that only an employee (as distinguished from an applicant) may bring a common law claim for discrimination against an employer. The Court noted, however, “plaintiff is not without recourse” because Williams could have sued under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). Cf. Rojas v. Federal Aviation Admin., 2019 WL 5382055 (9th Cir. 2019) (rejected air traffic control applicant is entitled to some information regarding application process under the Freedom of Information Act).

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 315


About this Author

Anthony J Oncidi, Employment Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law Firm

Anthony J. Oncidi heads the Labor & Employment Law Group in the Los Angeles office. Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection....