Cornell v. Berkeley Tennis ClubAnnotate this Case
Cornell, a severely obese woman, was fired from the Berkeley Tennis Club after having worked there for over 15 years. She sued the Club under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA; Gov. Code 12900), for disability discrimination and failure to accommodate her disability, disability harassment, and retaliation; wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, based on her three FEHA claims; intentional infliction of emotional distress; and defamation. The trial court granted the Club summary adjudication of all claims. The court of appeal reversed in part. The Club had the initial burden to produce evidence that Cornell could not establish at least one element of each claim and failed to sustain this burden on the claims requiring Cornell to show that her obesity has a physiological cause. The court properly granted summary adjudication of the FEHA claims alleging that the Club failed to accommodate Cornell’s disability and retaliated against her; the claims alleging that the Club terminated her in violation of public policy based on the FEHA harassment and retaliation claims; and the claim alleging that the Club intentionally inflicted emotional distress on Cornell.