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Breaking News

Discrimation Lawsuit Against City Dismissed

From Issue: Volume XXII - Number 15
7/30/2014


Via City Attorney's Office

A superior court judge dismissed the lawsuit of a former City of Long Beach employee on July 29, finding that there was no evidence of discrimination. The plaintiff, Valarie Howe, was employed as a seasonal, part time clerk in the Registrations and Reservations Office of the city’s Department of Parks, Reservations and Marine.

Although the plaintiff never complained of discrimination or harassment while she worked for the city, following her termination the plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that she was discriminated against because she had allergies and/or asthma, and that this condition qualified as a disability under California law. The plaintiff’s lawsuit was brought under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), California Government Code §12940 et seq.

The city filed a summary judgment motion with the court, seeking a pre-trial dismissal. The city maintained that the termination was justified based on poor performance, and that the plaintiff was not discriminated against. In fact, the city made extensive efforts to identify reasonable accommodations, including hiring an outside company to conduct an air quality study. The court determined that Howe failed to present any evidence that the city’s reason for terminating her was simply a pretext for discrimination.

The case is entitled Howe v City of Long Beach, Los Angeles Superior Case No.: NC058892. For additional information regarding this case please contact Michele Levinson, Deputy City Attorney at (562) 570-2231, or by email at michele.levinson@longbeach.gov.