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Rocco and Brody Obtain Summary Judgment of Harassment and Unlawful Termination Claims

October 7, 2020

Dean Rocco (Partner-Los Angeles) and Jennifer Brody (Associate-Los Angeles) obtained dismissal of an employment lawsuit against a home for adults and children with behavioral and medical needs. The plaintiff, who is African American, claimed she raised concerns about patient treatment at the facility and was subsequently harassed and then fired because of her race and workplace complaints. The client denied engaging in any harassment and asserted it only terminated plaintiff after an investigation confirmed she got into verbal altercations with co-workers in front of vulnerable patients in violation of company policy. In granting summary judgment, the Los Angeles County Superior Court judge held the alleged harassment – largely consisting of challenged personnel decisions – could not form the basis of a harassment claim as a matter of law.  In dismissing the wrongful termination claims, the Court recognized the client’s non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory reason for its decisions and agreed with Dean and Jennifer’s argument that the plaintiff did not put forth sufficient evidence to show the client’s reasons were false or a pretext for discrimination or retaliation.

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