Brown v. L.A. Unified School DistrictAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit alleging that LAUSD discriminated against her based on her "electromagnetic hypersensitivity," failed to accommodate her condition, and retaliated against her—in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Gov. Code, section 12900 et seq. The trial court sustained LAUSD's demurrer to plaintiff's first amended complaint (FAC) without leave to amend.
The Court of Appeal concluded that plaintiff adequately pled her cause of action for failure to provide reasonable accommodation for her disability. The court explained that the FEHA protections against torts based on disability are independent of those under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The FAC alleges that plaintiff could not work because she experienced "the various symptoms of which LAUSD had been warned could occur, namely, chronic pain, headaches, nausea, itching, burning sensations on her skin, ear issues, shortness of breath, inflammation, heart palpitations, respiratory complications, foggy headedness, and fatigue, all symptoms of Microwave Sickness or EHS." In this case, plaintiff adequately pled physical disability within the four corners of the statute. The court concluded that plaintiff failed to allege adverse employment action taken against her with discriminatory or retaliatory motive; plaintiff adequately pled a cause of action for failure to prove reasonable accommodation for a physical disability; plaintiff failed to allege failure to engage in the interactive process; and the trial court did not err in sustaining the demurrer without leave to amend. Accordingly, the court reversed in part and affirmed in part.